Friday, March 1, 2024
HomeGolfBurns fires 61 to guide AmEx, with U.S. Beginner champ two again

Burns fires 61 to guide AmEx, with U.S. Beginner champ two again

LA QUINTA, Calif. — Sam Burns fired a career-low 61 on Friday to take a one-shot lead over Michael Kim and a two-shot lead on novice Nick Dunlap after two rounds at The American Specific.

Dunlap, the reigning U.S. Beginner champion and solely non-professional within the 156-man discipline, shot a 65 with six birdies on the entrance 9 and one other on the 18th to remain in competition within the Coachella Valley. The College of Alabama sophomore is taking part in on a sponsor’s exemption.

Solely seven amateurs have gained on the PGA Tour since 1945. Phil Mickelson was the final one, doing it in Tucson, Arizona, in 1991.

Burns was at 17-under 127 after his second straight spectacular spherical, whereas Dunlap and South Korea’s Ok.H. Lee have been 15 beneath.

Burns scorched the Nicklaus Event course for seven birdies and two eagles, beginning with an eagle on the fourth. He made a second eagle on the eleventh and added 4 straight birdies from Nos. 13-16 to get in place for the third sub-60 spherical on this event’s historical past.

He didn’t get them, however his two ending pars resulted in one of the best spherical of his profession. Burns shot 62 on the BMW Championship final season and on the Byron Nelson in 2021.

“Clearly, all people is capturing some good numbers, so (I’m) simply making an attempt to maintain tempo and making an attempt to hit as many high quality photographs and get as many appears to be like as potential,” stated Burns, who has 5 PGA Tour victories. “I believe the greens are actually good round La Quinta and (Nicklaus) and Stadium, so I believe it comes all the way down to having the ability to make some key putts.”

Not every little thing went completely for Burns, who took off his hat after sinking his closing putt and inadvertently revealed the “RTR” shaved into the aspect of his head to the tv viewers. The acronym for “Roll Tide Roll” is the results of the Louisiana native and LSU product shedding a wager to fellow professional and Alabama product Justin Thomas, who already celebrated his triumph with a photograph on social media.

“Fortunately I get to put on a hat each day, and attempt to preserve it on so long as potential,” Burns stated with a grimace. “Celebrating (Nick) Saban’s retirement, as all people else in Louisiana is.”

Burns and Kim led the best way on one other day of spectacular scores from the three simple programs of The American Specific. Fifteen gamers are inside 4 photographs of the lead.

Kim is a product of Southern California’s junior golf scene, and he performed repeatedly within the Palm Springs space throughout his youth. He used that familiarity with the American Specific programs to shoot 65-63 within the first two rounds, together with six birdies on the again 9 of the Nicklaus course Friday.

“I even keep in mind a few of the photographs I hit into them 10, 15 years in the past,” stated Kim, who grew up in San Diego. “So it’s enjoyable to type of return into the reminiscence financial institution and simply keep in mind a few of the extra stress-free occasions, I assume.”

First-round co-leader Alex Noren of Sweden holed a protracted birdie putt on the 18th to shoot 68, leaving him three photographs again of Burns. Zach Johnson, the opposite first-round chief, shot 69 on the Nicklaus Course and was 4 again.

Burns fell simply in need of the third 59 within the historical past of this event, the previous Bob Hope Desert Traditional. David Duval did it in 1999 within the closing spherical on the Palmer Non-public Course, and Adam Hadwin matched it in 2017 within the third spherical at La Quinta Nation Membership.

Hadwin is at 14 beneath this yr after back-to-back 65s to begin.

The American Specific is a three-course event with a 54-hole reduce.



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