Tour Hall rookie up 3 despite English ace at Colonial

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Harris English joked with his caddy that no one is beating him on Colonial’s par-3 eighth hole, which is true after he followed up his first-round birdie with a hole-in-one Friday. .

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Harris English joked with his caddy that no one is beating him on Colonial’s par-3 eighth hole, which is true after he followed up his opening-round birdie with a hole in one friday. There is only one player ahead of him in the general classification.

PGA Tour rookie Harry Hall of England held the solo lead through 36 holes at 12-under 128, posting a spectacular save from the sand on that same par 3, for an advantage of three strokes over the Englishman. After opening at an eight-under-par 62, Hall had four straight birdies midway through his second-round 66.

Hall’s birdie streak ended with a bogey on the third par-4, his 12th of the day, when he missed the fairway and then came up short on the green before two-putting from nine feet.

In the final group of the day, Hall hit his tee shot at number 8 in the sand in front of the green. Hall was unable to get the ball out of the deep bunker on his first try, but he saved par by taking it out on the next try to the edge of the green and seeing it roll into the cup.

English’s ace on the 170-yard eighth was part of his 66 without a bogey.

“Hard 9 … pushed it about four or five yards to the right of where he was aiming, but it’s a good thing that hole is getting in the way,” English said. “Just one of those shots where I hit straight, right on the flag.”

His third hole-in-one on the PGA Tour was his first at Colonial’s No. 8 hole since Jim Furyk in 2011.

English was a shot ahead of Emiliano Grillo, who shot a best-round 65 to come in at 8 under par. Adam Schnek (67), Byeong Hun An (66) and Robby Shelton (67) were tied for fourth.

Scottie Scheffler, the No. 1 player in the world and Colonial’s runner-up in a tiebreaker last year, had his second straight round of 67 and was tied for seventh with a six-under-par 134. Justin Rose, whose 11 PGA Tour victories include Colonial five years ago, was tied for ninth at 5-under after a bogeyless 66.

Jordan Spieth, still dealing with a sore left wrist, shot 72 on both days to miss the cut. The 11th-ranked player had three bogeys and a birdie in his last four holes.

Nick Taylor of Abbotsford, BC also missed the cut with rounds of 71 and 73 putting him at 4-over. The cut line was 1 envelope.

Michael Block, the 46-year-old club pro from California who became a sensation for everyday golfers by tying for 15th place Sunday at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill, was last on the 120-player Colonial course. at 15-for-155. After his starting 81, he was seven shots better with a 74 that included back-to-back birdies midway through the round.

It was a grueling stretch for Block, who hit just 11 of 28 fairways in two rounds, but was still mingling with fans, signing autographs and taking photos, hours after his final putt before flying home.

Aside from the hole-in-one, it was just one steady round for the four-time PGA Tour English winner, who finished in third place earlier this month at the Wells Fargo Championship. He hit 11 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens.

“When I got into trouble off the tee or around the green, I would go up and down. He made a very good pair at No. 9,” English said. “I had a lot of 15-foot or 20-foot shots and I didn’t do a lot … But as long as I keep hitting the ball and I keep giving myself chances, some good things are going to happen this weekend.”

Coming off the hole-in-one, English dug into the right rough at No. 9 and then into a greenside bunker before flying to six feet and making the par-saving putt. His only birdie on the back nine was on the 12th, when he made a 17-foot shot from the periphery.

Grillo, the 30-year-old Argentinian, was even for the round before turning with a birdie from a greenside bunker at the 389-yard tenth. That was the first of five back birdies, including long putts on both par-3s, from 19 feet at No. 13 and nearly 38 feet at 16, before closing to within seven feet at No. 18.

“There are many different clubs off the tee. I have to keep it on the fairway, I have to keep it on the green. I think that’s my strong part of the game,” Grillo said. “I was lucky to make some good putts on the back nine. Very happy to finish with a great shot at 18 and a good putt.”

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Stephen Hawkins, Associated Press