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World number 117, Justin Suh has secured himself the outright lead at the Honda Classic after two days of action at the PGA National in Florida. With plenty of big names giving the event a miss after a hectic couple of weeks, the stage is set for an unlikely winner and Suh is seemingly grasping the opportunity with both hands.
The 25-year-old is still young in his career and has only one previous win on the PGA Tour but has looked in excellent touch over the opening two days of action. After an impressive opening round of 66, Suh followed it up with an even better 64 to leave himself on -10 at the halfway stage of the tournament.
Just behind him on the leaderboard is Chris Kirk on -9 for the week. Kirk shot a solid 69 on Thursday but was the best player on the course on Friday and finished with 62 for his round. It was the third lowest score at the Honda Classic since it moved to PGA National 17 years ago.
Also threatening the top of the leaderboard is Englishman, Ben Taylor, who shares third place on -8 with American Ryan Gerard.
A great day to play golf
The conditions on day two in Florida were sublime with many of the players taking advantage to post low scores. None fared better than Chris Kirk, however, whose round of 62 contained an eagle and six birdies. Speaking afterwards, Kirk marveled at the conditions:
“Usually we’re playing for 15 or 20-plus yards of hurt going into the wind shots and 15, 20 yards of help on downwind shots. It’s really difficult to get those just right when it’s really windy but today there was hardly a breath most of the round, and so it became a little bit more target practice.”
Smooth like butter 🧈
Describe Chris Kirk’s swing in three words. pic.twitter.com/NB7vWGqK1U
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 25, 2023
His phenomenal round wasn’t quite enough to displace Justin Suh at the top of the leaderboard, however. Suh’s round got off to a mixed start but he caught fire during the middle of his round, carding four consecutive birdies on holes 8-11 to stamp his authority on the tournament. Speaking after his round, Suh said:
“I think we’ve been trending in the right direction. Every week I’ve been improving and I think it’s gratifying to see the progressive work pay off.”
At number 20 in the world, Shane Lowry is one of only three players competing this week in the world’s top 25. Speaking earlier in the week, the Irishman said that he was playing in the event to try and pick up valuable points in his bid to make the European Ryder Cup team later this year.
After two rounds, Lowry is currently tied for 16th on the leaderboard at -4 after two solid rounds of 68. He will know, however, that he will need to post scores lower than that over the weekend if he is to lift the trophy on Sunday.
Luke Donald, the European Ryder Cup captain, has had a miserable time in Florida and has missed the cut after posting a score of +7 over the opening two days of action.