Rookie Thompson ducks for three eagles to lead Rahm at PGA American Express


US PGA Tour rookie Davis Thompson grabbed a trio of eagles in an eight-under par 64 on Friday that kept him two strokes clear of Spain’s Jon Rahm in California’s US PGA Tour American Express tournament.

After scoring back-to-back eagles in his first round of 62, Thompson tied the U.S. tour record for eagles through 36 holes in a tournament while adding three more on the Nicklaus Tournament course, one of three set in be used for the event in La Quinta, California.

“I just had some good numbers in par-fives and was able to execute my shots,” said the 23-year-old Korn Ferry Tour developmental graduate, who is chasing his first US PGA Tour title.

“There were some putts. So it was fun to make some eagles.”

ALSO READ  Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald predicts an uneasy week for LIV rebel Henrik Stenson

The first came on the par-five 11th, where he rolled into a 20-foot eagle putt.

After a birdie on 15, he slowed a bit with bogeys on the 16th and first, but bounced back with a birdie on the third followed by an eagle on the fourth, where he hit a five-iron to about 4.5 yards and the wells.

He added birdies on the fifth and sixth, and on the seventh hit a “really good six-iron and made, like, a 20-footer” to cap off a run in which he took seven strikes in the span of five holes.

“Everything is clicking the last two days of play and I’m just looking forward to trying to keep it going tomorrow,” said Thompson.

On Saturday he will play the Stadium Course, which will also host the final round after the 54-hole cut has been made.

ALSO READ  US Open will return to Winged Foot Golf Club in 2028

– Confident Rahm –

World number four Rahm, who won the title in the California desert in 2018, was impressed by Thompson’s eagle number.

“Five eagles in two rounds on two different courses is pretty impressive,” said Rahm. “It’s good playing.”

Rahm said he “felt great” after posting eight birdies without bogey in his eight-under 64 on the Nicklaus course for a total of 16-under par of 128.

“Lots of confidence,” said Rahm, bequeathing himself a string of short putts with a sharp wedge play.

Rahm, a perfectionist, said he couldn’t call it his best wave “because I expect a lot from myself.

“But still pretty damn good rounds of golf,” added Rahm, who opened 2023 with a Tournament of Champions win in Hawaii two weeks ago.

ALSO READ  How NFL great Ronnie Lott helped this aspiring pro, who makes his PGA Tour debut this week

The Spaniard was three strokes ahead of a group of five players who finished third at 13-under 131.

South Korean Kim Joo-hyung had an eagle and eight birdies in 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 both had 66 cards and Tyler Duncan signed for a 67.

World number two Scottie Scheffler, who has another chance this week to overtake Rory McIlroy in the world rankings, was mapped five under 65 on the Nicklaus course and was seven off the pace at 133.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here