US PGA Tour rookie Davis Thompson reeled in a trio of eagles Friday at an eight-under-par par 64 that kept him within two shots of Spaniard Jon Rahm at the US PGA Tour’s American Express tournament. USA in California.
After scoring back-to-back eagles in his first round 62, Thompson matched the US tour record for eagles over 36 holes in a tournament by adding another three on the Nicklaus Tournament course, one of three in use for the event in La Quinta, California.
“I just had some good numbers on the par-fives and was able to hit my shots,” said the 23-year-old graduate of the developing Korn Ferry Tour, who is seeking his first US PGA Tour title.
“Dropped some putts. So it was good to make some eagles.”
The first came on the par-five 11th hole, where he rolled on a 20-foot eagle putt.
After a birdie on the 15th, he slowed down a bit with bogeys on the 16th and first, but recovered with a birdie on the third followed by an eagle on the fourth, where he hit a five-iron about 15 feet and made the shot. short.
He added birdies in the fifth and sixth, and in the seventh he hit a “really good six iron and hit, like, a 20-foot shot” to cap a career that saw him pick up seven shots over the space of five holes.
“Everything is working out these last two game days and I’m looking forward to trying to keep it going tomorrow,” Thompson said.
On Saturday he will play on the Stadium Course, which will also host the final round after making the cut of 54 holes.
– Rahm confident –
World number four Rahm, who lifted the title in the California desert in 2018, was impressed by Thompson’s tally of eagles.
“Five eagles in two rounds on two different courses is pretty impressive,” Rahm said. “It’s good to play.”
Rahm said he felt “very good” after recording eight bogeyless birdies in his 8-under 64 on the Nicklaus course for a total par 128 of 16-under.
“Very confident,” said Rahm, who laid down a group of short putts with sharp wedge play.
A perfectionist, Rahm said he couldn’t call it his best golf “because I expect a lot from myself.
“But still pretty good rounds of golf,” added Rahm, who opened 2023 with a Tournament of Champions victory in Hawaii two weeks ago.
The Spaniard was three shots ahead of a field of five players sharing third place with 131, 13 under par.
South Korea’s Kim Joo-hyung had an eagle and eight birdies on a 10-under par 62 on the Nicklaus course to reach 13-under. Australian veteran Jason Day had an eagle and six birdies in an eight-under 64 on the Stadium Course where South Korea’s Im Sung-Jae and JT Poston scored 66 and Tyler Duncan signed for 67.
World number two Scottie Scheffler, who again has a chance to overtake Rory McIlroy for the top of the world rankings this week, shot a five-under-par 65 in the Nicklaus field to sit seven off pace in 133.