Tringale leads in pursuit of maiden Tour victory, Spieth remains in the hunt

By Sports Desk April 02, 2021

American world number 99 Cameron Tringale backed up his strong opening day at the Texas Open with a three-under 69 on Friday to take a two-shot lead into the weekend.

Tringale, 33, has never claimed a PGA Tour victory but has set himself up perfectly, two shots ahead of three-time major winner Jordan Spieth and Matt Wallace.

The 12-year veteran bogeyed his opening two holes on Friday after sitting equal second after day one but responded with five straight birdies in his fourth to eighth holes.

"I just hit a lot of really good iron shots to those holes," Tringale said. “I think my furthest putt was 4 feet, so just good approaches to the green... I took advantage most of the time.”

First day leader Camilo Villegas slipped five shots back after shooting a 76, while Texas native Spieth looms after putting together two good days as he chases his first title since 2017.

The former world number one shot a two-under 70, although he started strong with two birdies including an approach within 10 feet on the first before slowing up.

"I thought the start was key for me, and I got off to a great start," Spieth said. "I put some really good swings on the ball after kind of being a little sloppy at the end of yesterday’s round."

He added: "I’m really pleased with where things are at, but they’re not where I want them to be at."

Equal second Wallace is another yet to win on the PGA Tour but he moved into contention after a four-under 68 which included no bogeys.

"Whenever you go bogey free, whatever golf course it is, it’s nice, but especially here," Wallace said.

A group of four players are two shots behind Spieth and Wallace, with Kevin Stadler, Kyle Stanley, Erik van Rooyen and Brandt Snedeker who had a birdie-birdie finish.

Matt Kuchar and Villegas are among the next group of six at four-under, while Charley Hoffman shot a day two best 66 to be tied at three-under.

Five-time major winner Phil Mickelson was unable to recover from his horror first round which was ruined by taking a 10 on the 18th and missed the cut.

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    Play was suspended late on Friday due to inclement weather but world number one Johnson finished his round with a three-under 68 to remain firmly in contention after his opening day 65 at Congaree Golf Club.

    Johnson shot four birdies in six holes on his back nine, grabbing a share of the lead with Hadley, before dropping two on the 18th.

    The American started strongly on Friday, birdieing his opening two holes, and appeared in ominous form, driving within 20 feet on the 344-yard par four 15th.

    Johnson had been part of a four-man pack tied for second following the opening day, along with 33-year-old Hadley who carded a five-under 66 on Friday, backing up his 65 on Thursday.

    Hadley, who had missed five straight cuts entering the Palmetto Championship, bogeyed the second but responded with four birdies from his next five holes.

    "I definitely didn't see this coming," Hadley said. "I missed all those cuts in a row, and thank goodness I had three weeks off just to kind of hit the reset switch, get out on the boat, and just kind of forget about some things and spend some time with some family."

    The unheralded American leads with 11-under, two strokes ahead of Johnson, with Tain Lee in third at eight-under.

    The weather prevented Lee from finishing his second round, getting through 16 at four-under.

    American Pat Perez and Irishman Seamus Power both carded five-under 66s to move up the leaderboard into a share of fourth spot. They join Harris English, Chez Reavie and Erik van Rooyen in equal fourth at six-under.

    Overnight leader Wes Roach had a nightmare second day, starting with four bogeys from his first five holes, to finish with a six-over 77 to slide way down the leaderboard.

    Brooks Koepka shot a second-round 73 to sit three-over and appears likely to miss the cut, which is not yet confirmed given play was suspended.

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    Roach carded a seven-under-par to set the early pace at the inaugural PGA Tour tournament in Gillisonville, South Carolina on Thursday.

    The unheralded American golfer, who finished with an eagle, six birdies and a bogey, claimed his first lead/co-lead in his 88th Tour start.

    World number one Dustin Johnson is tied for second alongside Doc Redman, Chesson Hadley and Erik van Rooyen.

    Johnson, who missed the cut in two of his last four starts – including the US PGA Championship, opened with a 65 – his lowest first-round score on the PGA Tour since he won the 2020 Masters with an opening-round 65.

    "I mean, you know, I'm playing well," 24-time Tour champion Johnson said. "I feel like I've been playing pretty good all year, just, like I said, I haven't putted well, short game's been a little off, but today I missed it in the right spots when I did miss it, but hit a lot of real quality iron shots and gave myself a lot of looks."

    South African Van Rooyen recorded his lowest score on the PGA TOUR this season.

    Van Rooyen entered the week with missed cuts in each of his last four starts on Tour, most recently carding scores of 72 and 81 at the PGA Championship.

    Jhonattan Vegas is a stroke further back at five under, while there is a 12-way tie for seventh spot.

    Brooks Koepka made his first appearance since finishing second to Phil Mickelson at the PGA Championship.

    Four-time major champion Koepka – who has been plagued by knee problems – shot a one-over-par 72.

    The last four times Koepka has failed to record an under-par score in the first round, he has gone on to miss the cut – 2021 Masters (two over), 2021 Farmers Insurance Open (even), 2021 The American Express (even) and 2020 Mayakoba Golf Classic (even).

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    Four reserve players have been included in the team that boasts a mixture of experienced and new players and will compete in six age-group categories, three each for girls and boys.

    The 18 & Under Boys players comprise Rocco Lopez, Michael Lowe, and Radino Lobban. Zaniel Knight is the reserve player.

    Lopez, who is making the team for the fifth time, is the most accomplished player on the team, having won the Bob Slatter Trophy for 13 & Under Boys back in 2018 when the championship was held in Jamaica.

    The two 18 & Under Girls are Emily Mayne and Eryn Blakeley.  Mayne will also be making her fifth appearance for the team while Blakeley is getting her third cap.

    Aman Dhiman, Trey Williams, Ryan Lue and Noah Azan in reserve will compete in the Boys 15 and Under category.  Dhiman posted the second-lowest score of four-under-par 68 at the Caymanas Golf Club recently during the JGA's National Golf Championship won by Justin Burrowes.

    Mattea Issa, Winni Lau and Mia Cunningham (reserve) were named to the Girls 15 and Under category.  Issa and Lau will each be making their fourth appearance at the championship while Cunningham is in her debut year.

    The 13 & Under Boys category will see Aarron Khosh, Ramsay Wayner and Kemari Morris as a reserve player.  This will be Khosh's second time being named on the team and Morris' first. Wayner's listing on the team is provisional as he is 10 years old.  Due to his age, the likelihood he will play will depend on whether JGA gets permission from the Caribbean Golf Association.

    The final age group category, the Girls 13 and Under will be filled by Samantha Azan and Anoushka Khatri.  This will be Azan's second time being named to the team but her first time playing.  She was selected in 2020 but there was no competition due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Khatri is getting her first call up for the team.

    Ryan Lue and Aarron Ghosh were also named to the team in 2020 but will be see playing time for the first time as there was no championship in 2020.

     The new players on this year's team are Zaniel Knight, Noah Azan, Mia Cunningham, Ramsay Wayner, Kemari Morris and Anoushka Khatri.

     Team manager Alison Reid has high expectations for the team. "The junior golf team for 2021 is actually a pretty strong team.  There are a lot of experienced players on it, players that have played three, four, five times so it bodes well from an experience point of view,” she said.

    “We also have strong juniors in each age group so we at least have one strong player in each age group and then the second place person is also pretty strong."

    Reid said that on this occasion there will be two coaches travelling with the team.

    “Jonathan Newnham and Jason Lopez; I think both coaches bring different strengths to the table and I think those strengths can only help the team to be its best, both the actual game of golf to the mental game of golf, so we look forward to a very successful tournament."

    Several golfers have in the past won age group trophies including Jonathan Newnham, Justin Burrowes and Rocco Lopez, however, the country is still looking for its first country trophy after placing second in 2018 at home and in 2019 in the Bahamas.

     

     

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