PALM BEACH GARDENS – Keith Mitchell and South Korea’s Sungjae Im are tied for the lead at 6-under par after two rounds of the Honda Classic at PGA National in Florida.
Im, 20, dominated the Web.com Tour last season with two victories and three runner-up finishes while leading the regular-season money list. He went out early Friday and tied for the low round of the day with a 6-under 64 that included seven birdies against a lone bogey.
Mitchell’s 4-under 66 featured five birdies and a bogey.
The pair is one shot clear of Lucas Glover, but all 83 players who made the 2-over cut are within eight shots of the lead.
With the field including only three of the top 20 ranked players in the world, the front page of the leaderboard isn’t stocked with many household names. A group of nine players tied at 4 under includes third-ranked Brooks Koepka, a resident of nearby Jupiter, Fla., who is seeking to win at PGA National for the first time.
“It was definitely a little bit tougher today,” Koepka, who shot a 1-under 69 after posting a 67 on Thursday, told reporters. “Yesterday the course was a little bit more get-able. These greens have definitely firmed up, baked out, where it can be difficult with this wind.
“Par is not too bad. It kind of reminds me of a major, which is nice.”
Spain’s Sergio Garcia is tied for 13th at 3 under along with Venezuela’s Jhonattan Vegas, the first-round leader who struggled to a 3-over 73 on Friday.
J.T. Poston was outside of the cut line after three bogeys through his first six holes, but recovered with a 5-under 30 on his back nine — which was on the front side of the course — to finish at 1-over.
Gary Woodland birdied his final two holes to make the cut on the number, extending his streak of cuts made to 21. Woodland had three bogeys during a four-hole stretch on the back nine to fall to 5-over par and put his streak in severe jeopardy.
Defending champion Justin Thomas, who chipped in for eagle on No. 3, also made the cut on the number while playing through an arm injury suffered when his club hit a tree on a follow through Thursday. He made it close by carding a double bogey after hitting his approach into the water on the sixth hole, his 15th of the day after starting on the back nine.
Thomas is 6-over par over his past 27 holes since making hard contact with the tree.
“It’s not bad, it’s just more annoying than anything,” Thomas told reporters. “It’s just been about a seven-hour-long ‘dead-arm.'”
Australia’s Adam Scott finished at 3 over to miss the cut by one shot.
The infamous three-hole stretch from Nos. 15-17 known as “The Bear Trap” claimed 21 more balls in the water on Friday after 35 wound up wet in the first round. The field was 35-over par on the stretch Friday, three worse than the previous day, including 81 bogeys or worse.
–Field Level Media