Detroit – He grew up only about four hours away, outside of Toronto, in Richmond Hill, Ontario, but Taylor Pendrith didn’t come to the Detroit area as a kid. Well, at least not playing golf.
He came here once, in fact – for the World Junior Championships in Taylor, where, he remembers, his team smoked because the American kids were a little bit older, bigger and much stronger.
Pendrith is retaliating this week at Detroit Golf Club, where he was delivering a perfect four-hole game in the second round on Friday, en route to a 7-under-65 that gave him the lead by one stroke over Tony Finau halfway. Point from Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Pendrith is one of many starters on the PGA Tour on the leaderboard, along with his co-playing partner Lee Hodges (12 under), Cameron Young (10 under) and Sahith Theegala (9 under). For Friday’s first four holes, Pendreth and Hodges matched each other, Flying for Byrdie. Hodges shot 66.
“It was amazing,” Pendereth said. “You kind of build that. The starts we had were great. I kind of set the tone for the tour and we were both just trying to make as many birds as we could.”
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For the record, they got together with 15 of them in the afternoon where the breeze was, but they didn’t blow as hard as they did on the afternoon wave in the first round.
PGA Tour winner Russell Henley and former British Open winner Stewart Sink was linked with Young at the age of 10, while former Masters champion Adam Scott, world number four Patrick Cantelay and Si Woo Kim were part of a hexagonal standoff at 9 under with Stefan Jaeger and Scott Stallings, The two of them made six birds in a row at a time.
Pendrith, at 15 under, set the 36-hole record-breaking record, which was established in the opening play of the rocket by eventual champion Nate Lashley, at 14 under. Finau matched that an hour before Pendrith finished his tour.
For Pendrith, being in Detroit is special for several reasons. For starters, proximity to his hometown has been well bolstered this week — he’s been sung with “Oh, Canada,” from the galleries here — and he’s just three hours from his alma mater, Kent State. Then there’s the bigger reason: This is his third tournament since The Players Championship in March. He suffered a stress fracture in one of his ribs on his left side, and could not even touch a club for 12 months. The only saving grace: The layoff came during the NHL playoffs. A die-hard Maple Leafs fan watched almost every game every night.
“I was playing really well before the guys too. I played well at Honda (two weeks ago) and got some momentum, and I felt like I was playing really well,” said the 31-year-old golf: having to sit for nearly four months After that it was really full, but honestly, I couldn’t do much about it. I just tried to be patient and I know it will heal and I will be back at some point. “
Yes, he’s back, and in a prime position on his first PGA Tour win. He won twice on the PGA Canada Tour in 2019.
Pendrith returned in the Barbasol Championship three weeks ago and tied for 13th (same score at The Players), then tied for 11th at the Barracuda Championship two weeks ago. He took a vacation last week, but stayed firmly in his game in Detroit.
Same with Hodges, 27, as Pendirth, Young and Theegala, a rookie looking for that great win.
“I’m just getting close to him,” Hodges said. “So I will continue to do that.”
Speaking of “survival” there’s Finau, 32, who is right back close to the top of the leaderboard, after winning his third career win last week at the 3M Open. He struggled a bit out of the gate on Friday, with only one birdie in his first nine holes, but caught fire in his back with 31.
Finau made three in a row at No. 12-14, and had superb sand saves on each of the five-point back nines, fourteenth and seventeenth, to get the birder.
His opening 64 was followed by a second round 66, which is a little strange from what looked like Children’s Day at DGC.
Khadran only missed out on regulation in two rounds, and he didn’t commit a ghost.
Young people sure want to sleep.
But Cameron Young, well, had no problem as an early rookie on Friday, climbing to the top of the leaderboard as part of the early morning spell of the second round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at the Detroit Golf Club.
“Anytime you win, you generate confidence,” Fino said. “I was just happy to carry that confidence from last week right into this week.”
There is no shortage of confidence in this leaderboard, no matter how many players have not won the PGA Tour. That includes Young, 25, this year’s PGA Tour lead nominee who launched a 9-under 63 tournament record that included a hole-punch for an eagle in a 4-par-4 13, seven birds and no ghost.
Who said young people are not early? Young. A little after 7 a.m. on Friday, he took full advantage of the mild weather. He started at the back nine and made a jumper at number 12, then found the fairway at par-4 13, 136 yards from the flag. He was trying to hit 140 to the left of the flag, but hit his fiery wedge short and right, flying into the hole for an eagle.
This was the highlight of the five-hole stretch in which Young was 5 under.
“I’m not afraid to come close to the lead,” said Young, who was a runner-up at the Open Championship and has three more second and third place finishes this season. “At this point, I’ve been around a bit and any reimbursement advantage I can get over the weekend is something I’m going to take advantage of.”
He was 1 under every Thursday, playing in high winds. However, he didn’t blame the tour for that. He said he found some tricky spots around the green.
“This is kind of a place, where the stats don’t tell the whole story,” Young said.
For example, measurements on Friday said Young was among the leaders in the field in strokes gained from a tee. Of course, the stats didn’t paint the picture from the second par-4, as he hung the tee shot to the far left, hit the can barn near the parking lot and rolled another 80 yards down the camper track. The drive, officially, went to the books at 402 yards. He’s got a drop in the raw, cut into jagged, chipped back to just under 7 feet and made that up to par. He credits this savings with keeping the momentum going.
Then Young Birdie Birdie went on the next three holes.
Then, on day 7 of Bar 5, he tied his tee to the left again, but took another break, hitting a tree and kicking into the driveway. This led to another bird.
In the third division ninth, he made another 7-foot test for parity to equal the championship record of 63, joining Nate Lashley, JT Poston (2019), and Davis Thompson (2021).
Theegala, 24, who is competing with Young for the Junior Honor as well as a spot on the Team Presidents Cup and is also looking for his first PGA Tour win, will enter the weekend just before Young. He shot one of the best rounds on Thursday afternoon in the wind, and followed it up well with Friday 67.
“Yesterday, the weather was great,” said Thigala, whose family is from India, who was following Friday. “It was really tough. I scored unbelievable goals (Thursday), and honestly played better yesterday than I did today, but the conditions were perfect. I was at the start, the greens as pure as possible. And there was really no wind until my back nine there.”
As Young and Theggala chase that first win — a good bet would be who wins first, Young, Theggala or Will Xalatores — Scott has won 31 times worldwide, including 14 on the PGA Tour. Among those gains was the title of Master. He last won in 2020, and it was his only win since 2016.
Scott fired a stealth-free round that featured three 12-14 straight birds.
Scott has three of the top 10 players this season, and he will be in the FedEx Cup playoffs.
“I don’t think I played bad at all, to be honest,” Scott said after his role on Friday. “I generally play well consistently, but that kind of play is bad on the tour.”
Among the notables who missed the cut, which came at 3-under (same as last year, after being 5-under the first two years), unofficial tournament host Ricky Fowler (3 over), Harris English (2 under), Gary Woodland (2) 2 under), Seb Straka (2 under), Kevin Kesner (1 under), Davis Riley (my double), Maverick McNeely (my double), Denny McCarthy (my double), Luke List (2 more) and Harry Higgs (3 more).
Most of the big names in the field will be there this weekend, including Zach Johnson (8 under), Jason Day (5 under), Webb Simpson (5 under), Max Homa (4 under), and Will Zalatores (3 under). , Keegan Bradley (3 under), and former Rocket Mortgage Classic champions Cam Davis and Nate Lashley (3 under).
Ryan Brehm (Traverse City/Michigan State) will play this weekend, at the age of five.
They’re all staring at Pendrith Road, a longtime unknown Canadian looking to play this tournament in Detroit. It’s going a lot better than his last lap in Detroit.
“Maybe we won a few games,” said Pendrith, who was on the Richmond Hill Phoenix team.
“But we smoked a few times.”
This week, he’s smoking.
And the one-time-use shooter, who had a good fireplace if he said so himself (does), looks to be closer.
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