Harris English’s ace, Harry Hall’s consistency among 5 things to know from second round of Charles Schwab Challenge
FORT WORTH, Texas — Colonial Country Club is preparing for a proper shave, as work on an extensive renovation is set to begin as soon as the PGA Tour’s Charles Schwab Challenge concludes this weekend.
So maybe it was only appropriate that Friday’s second round provided plenty of “hairiness” — as in Harry Hall and Harris English topping the leaderboard at the tournament’s midpoint.
Meanwhile, a pair of local favorites found themselves on the wrong side of the cutline and another beloved Texan said he played better than the 67 that he posted.
That’s all part of our five things you need to know after the second round of play.
The biggest names aren't at the top (but some are lurking)
Scottie Scheffler was the exception, not the rule on Friday, as the world’s second-ranked player stayed consistent, posting a 67 to move to 6 under for the event.
And Scheffler believed he deserved a better fate.
“I felt like I played pretty good today. I felt like I could have shot a lot lower but still, 3 under is always a good score,” he said. “It’s a good score, but I felt like I played better than that. But game feels like it’s good going into the weekend.”
Meanwhile, the rest of the first page of the leaderboard was not as star-studded, as Sam Burns started strong, but struggled on the back nine and finished at 3 under while others like Viktor Hovland and Rickie Fowler (both 1 under) were well behind the leaders.
Jordan Spieth, Tony Finau and some other stars all failed to make the cut.
The lack of wind is keeping the course vulnerable — early
Two things can make Colonial vulnerable — moist conditions that leave the Bentgrass greens susceptible to pin-seekers and a lack of what is typically a prevailing wind through the flat Fort Worth region.
Through two rounds, the winds have subsided, and the morning dew has made it easy for players to attack. That meant the early tee times on both days were more desirable, as witnessed by Austin Smotherman’s sunrise 29 on the front nine early Thursday.
There’s little wind in the forecast, as well, so it’s possible that someone early Saturday could make another charge.
In the afternoon, however, things get chewed up and the course dries a bit to make Colonial’s greens tough to take aim at.
“Any time it gets 10 to 15 miles an hour out here and the wind’s swirling, it’s tough. You’ve got some small targets out here,” Harris English said. “You’ve got some narrow fairways. It’s definitely going to be a little trickier (in the) afternoon.”
Emiliano Grillo got hot on the back nine
When he made the turn on Friday at Colonial, Grillo was mired in a deep group of players at 3 under, plodding along. Something clicked on the back, however, and the Argentinian shot up the leaderboard by virtue of a 30 that put him just a few shots off the top spot.
“A lot of positives. A lot of fairways, a lot of greens, some good putts. Good golf all around,” said Grillo, who finished the day with 65 and is currently alone in third at 8 under. “I was lucky enough to make a few good putts on the back nine, there on 13 and 16. So happy to finish with a great shot on 18 and a good putt.”
Harry Hall just kept on chugging
For those expecting the UNLV product to flounder after an opening-round 62, the joke’s on you.
After posting a bogey on his fourth hole of the day, the Englishman got hot for the second straight day, dropping five birdies in a half-dozen holes to put some separation between himself and the rest of the field.
With 36 holes left to play, Hall leads at 12 under after a second-round 4-under 66.
Harris English sure likes the 8th hole at Colonial
English has played the eighth hole at Colonial Country Club about as well as anyone could through two rounds.
On Thursday, he knocked his tee shot on the par 3 to inside nine feet and then dropped the putt for birdie.
On Friday, he went one better, bouncing in an ace, en route to a 66. He stands at 9 under, nipping at Hall’s heels.
“I told my caddie I don’t think anyone’s beating us through the first two days on No. 8. Just a really good number today,” English said. “Just one of those shots where I had to hit a 9-iron really full, and it came off just like I wanted to and luckily went in the hole.”
🚨 ACE ALERT 🚨@Harris_English bounces it in for an ace @CSChallengeFW! pic.twitter.com/yDMedpqTj6
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 26, 2023
English missed the cut at the PGA Championship but has played well over the last few months, and thinks big things could be in store.
“Glad to be in the clubhouse at 9-under. Still got a lot of golf to play,” he said. “I played good a couple weeks ago at the Wells Fargo in Charlotte, big time event this year on Tour, elevated with a lot of good players there. I can’t remember how many bogey-free rounds I had, but I had a couple out there.
“Yeah, I just feel like my game’s trending in the right direction. I like golf courses like this where par is a good score. With the greens firming up, it’s getting pretty tough to control your ball, and I like it when it gets tough. Excited for the weekend, and we’ll see where it shakes out this afternoon.”