This week, the best golfers in the world can compete against the gorgeous backdrop of the Riviera Country Club. The first day did indeed deliver top-notch golf shots and the featured show continued on Friday. Above all else, Joaquin Niemann had another nearly perfect day of golf and, like the day before, played a 63. With 126 strokes, Niemann also set the new course record after 36 holes. The Chilean has a comfortable lead ahead of the weekend, but Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, among others, are waiting for their chance in the first-chasing spots.
Sepp Straka improved from the day before and eventually made it to the weekend, as did world number one John Ram.
PGA Tour: Niemann starts with an eagle and then fails only once, surprising Cameron Young in second
Joaquin Niemann should have noticed after the first hole that the score card could go down again on Friday. Because on opening hole 5, the young Chilean played his second shot from over 200 meters just one meter off the pin and put it into an eagle. The birds follow the second, seventh and nine holes. Meanwhile, he delivered five punches between himself and American number one stalker Cameron Young. The Specter of the 10 was Niemann’s only stroke loss that day. He played the last eight holes the four under the level again, raising his daily score to -8 and his overall score to -16.
Cameron Young surprisingly came in second. The American had the best run of the day with 62 points on Friday. He’s remained stealth-free with only two strokes left behind the weekend leader. It would be Young’s first win on the PGA Tour.
Seb Straka saves himself for the weekend – just like Jon Ram
For the only German speaking participant this week, things weren’t so good after the first day. But Seb Strucke was more consistent on Friday and barely made it to the cut-off line on 68th. The Austrian played five birds, but also two bobsledders and started the weekend from 60th place. This is the fifth consecutive championship for Strake.
World number one Jon Ram was on the verge of disqualification. The Spaniard’s day was terrifying and he had to shiver to advance to the last place. Ram, who already played five bogeys, needed to equalize on the last hole to avoid slipping under the cut line. He placed his second shot on level 4 at a distance of 7 meters from the pin on the green lead. The approaching blow was obviously too short, so he hit the famous calf from about two meters away. But the current best golfer in the world has remained calm and can look forward to two more rounds at the Riviera Country Club.
PGA Tour: Thomas, Scott and Spieth as stalker
If you’re leading the PGA Tour, you’d rather not have these three names breathing in your neck. Because with Justin Thomas, Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth, three top-tier players in the round are third and fourth and just waiting to be able to exploit a mistake made by the top runners. Justin Thomas had a great day and entered the club by seven strokes, so he could compete on transfer day tomorrow with Adam Scott. The Australian remained stealth free and also scored six birdies on the scorecard. In order to catch the seven shots in front of Niemann, you need at least one good performance on Saturday.
Jordan Spieth also impressively proved on Friday that he can play at the top this week. The American also threw one of the shots that day, a fine chip for the Eagle on the 11th hole.
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