Story By: Deborah Leung
Photos By: Sol Tucker
For Jon Rahm it didn’t seem to matter that he was up against today as his game looked as point as it possibly could be on this course.
Rahm, who we have to remind people that he is playing his first tournament as a professional one week after being low amateur at the U.S. Open, is tied for the lead at 11 under with local product Billy Hurley III, who shot the round of the day with a 65 on Friday.
Rahm wasn’t quite able to replicate his performance from Thursday when he shot a 7-under 64 to take sole possession of the lead, but a 67 on Friday at Congressional showed that his first round was no fluke. A bogey on 18 clearly frustrated Rahm and kept him from holding the lead alone going into the weekend, but the 2-time Ben Hogan Award winner didn’t seem rattled at all by sleeping on the 18-hole lead.
One of the bigger names in this field of players looking for their first victory was Rickie Fowler, who just could not find a way to make the cut, well that all changed today as he propelled himself over the hump and into a weekend tournament.
“I was planning on making this one,” Fowler said. “This game’s been very close. Didn’t drive it well last week, and especially there obviously with the rough and the bunkering off the fairways, couldn’t do that. At least here I was able to get away with a few. Did a good job of keeping the ball in front of me. Just the one bogey, so happy about that.”
Fowler finished his second round with four birdies and a single bogey (on the 14th hole). He did so by finding his touch on the greens.
“I made a lot of good par putts. I wasn’t on top of the speed to begin with, left some uphill putts short,” Fowler said. “Like I said, made some good putts for par, so that kind of just kept me going, kept plugging along and knew that once I gave myself some good looks at birdies that I would be able to make those since I already made some for par.”
Ranked sixth in the world, Fowler said he feels as if he’s getting closer to turning a corner after missing the cut in his past three events.