Harmeling grabs lead on second day

By PGAtour.com May 17, 2019
Evan Harmeling Evan Harmeling

Evan Harmeling has not had the low score in either the first round or the second round. What Harmeling does have is the low 36-hole score after consecutive 66s left him at 12-under, good for a one-shot lead over Guatemala’s José Toledo, Argentina’s Augusto Núñez and American Dawson Armstrong at the BMW Jamaica Classic. Five players are two strokes in back of Harmeling, who has never won a PGA TOUR Latinoamérica tournament.

In his opening-round 66, Harmeling had one hiccup during his day, a bogey at No. 13. Since then, he has played 23 consecutive holes with either a par or birdie. Harmeling did most of his damage on Cinnamon Hill Golf Club’s front nine Friday, with two par-4 birdies and back-to-back birdies on the par-5 fifth and sixth holes, the latter birdie a bit disappointing as his “good look” for eagle just missed. “It was a good little stretch there,” Harmeling said. He also had what he called a “nice par” on his closing hole to not give up a stroke. His other birdies during the round came at Nos. 10 and 18.

Harmeling has played 55 previous PGA TOUR Latinoamérica tournaments, his best finish coming in the final event of the 2018 season—the Shell Championship, a runner-up showing as he fell short of winner Harry Higgs. This season, Harmeling has struggled for consistency, with two missed cuts and a tie for 40th the best finish of his three made cuts.

Related items

  • Webb Simpson leads RSM Classic Webb Simpson leads RSM Classic

    Webb Simpson carded a seven-under-par 65 to lead the RSM Classic after the opening round.

    Simpson was almost flawless as the American golfer earned a one-stroke lead in Georgia on Thursday.

    Playing on Sea Island's Plantation Course – the easier of the two courses used this week – Simpson overcame a slow start, which saw him bogey his second hole.

    Simpson was one over par before playing his final 13 holes in eight under to take the first-round lead ahead of Cameron Tringale and Lee Kyoung-hoon – who each played on the Seaside Course – and Rhein Gibson.

    "He told me, no matter how I started out, to stay patient," Simpson said of caddie Paul Tesori's advice. "I think he knew scores would be good over there [on the Plantation Course]. He helped me weather the storm."

    Simpson – a five-time PGA Tour champion without a win since May 2018 – carded six of his eight birdies on his back nine, closing out the round with three in a row.

    "It's been awhile since I've won," 2012 U.S. Open winner Simpson said. "I've given myself chances here. Starting this week, all I wanted was a chance Sunday because I do feel comfortable here."

    Scott Harrington, Tyler Duncan, Brian Harman, Alex Cejka, Rory Sabbatini, Scott Brown, Sebastian Munoz, Nick Taylor and Hank Lebioda are five under heading into the second round.

    Meanwhile, defending champion Charles Howell III is five strokes off the pace.

  • Possibly the best shot I've hit all year – McIlroy beams after eagle at 18th Possibly the best shot I've hit all year – McIlroy beams after eagle at 18th

    Rory McIlroy described his stunning approach to the 18th as "possibly the best shot I've hit all year" as he closed with an eagle to surge into contention on day one of the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

    The four-time major winner, seeking a third title at Jumeirah Golf Estates, carded a 64 on Thursday to sit one stroke behind leader Mike Lorenzo-Vera at the season-ending European Tour event.

    McIlroy pulled clear in second spot, two ahead of Race to Dubai contender Jon Rahm, with a three at the par-five last set up by a booming drive and pinpoint approach shot that landed within three feet of the pin.

    "It's possibly the best shot I've hit all year," the world number two told Sky Sports. "It was one of those where if you get it right and you button it, it's going to be perfect.

    "The two shots into the last were right up there with the two best shots I've hit this year, I would say.

    "I'm feeling comfortable with my game. I have done for the last while. I felt like [this] was just more of the same of how I've been feeling.

    "I hit some really quality shots coming in which gives me a lot of confidence going into the next few days."

    McIlroy recently added an eye-catching finishing touch to his home, with the addition of a trophy cabinet that he would dearly love to contribute to this weekend.

    His wife Erika had the cabinet put in place when McIlroy was busy securing further silverware at last month's WGC-HSBC Champions.

    "It's sort of the last room that we've been waiting on to get finished in the house," the Northern Irishman explained. "I like to have [the trophies] out so, in a reflective moment, I can go and have a look at all I've achieved on the golf course the last few years.

    "I had not seen them - they were in storage for a year and a half - so just to come back to it was really nice.

    "It's a nice reflective moment, but it's also a motivational moment that this is what I can do and I want more of it."

  • McIlroy looms large as Lorenzo-Vera leads in Dubai McIlroy looms large as Lorenzo-Vera leads in Dubai

    Rory McIlroy shot 64 but could not keep an unwell Mike Lorenzo-Vera off top spot as the Frenchman carded the lowest opening round in the history of the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

    World number two McIlroy, a two-time champion at Jumeirah Golf Estates, closed Thursday's play one stroke behind Lorenzo-Vera.

    The pair turned in well-matched scorecards, each showing an eagle and a solitary dropped shot, but the four-time major winner sunk one birdie fewer than his rival. 

    With former rugby player Niall O'Connor acting as his caddie, McIlroy went out in 31 but saved the best until last.

    On the 18th hole, he nailed a stunning approach to within three feet and holed the subsequent eagle putt to conclude an excellent round.

    Still it was shy of Lorenzo-Vera's effort, the world number 96 overcoming illness to earn himself a slice of history with an unmatched opening 18 holes to sit nine under.

    "Honestly, I'm not feeling well at all," said Lorenzo-Vera, who has never won on the European Tour. "I have no energy. I had a big lung infection in South Africa and a big treatment and really feel bad on top of that.

    "I felt that if I really relaxed a lot, just swing it like 70 per cent or maybe less, the ball was still flying pretty well. Try to be pretty clever and not too aggressive and then the putter got hot. So that worked."

    Race to Dubai leader Bernd Wiesberger went round in 70 and is still projected to take the top prize based on day-one standings.

    His closest rival for that honour at the start of the week, Tommy Fleetwood, dropped a couple of shots on the back nine to sign for a five-under-par 67.

    Of the three other names in with a chance, Jon Rahm fared best as he got to six under, but Matt Fitzpatrick's 71 and The Open champion Shane Lowry's 73 are likely to have ended their hopes.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.