Home Golf Ben Martin opens 2-shot lead at PGA Tour’s Corales Puntacana Championship

Ben Martin opens 2-shot lead at PGA Tour’s Corales Puntacana Championship

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PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic — Ben Martin shot his second straight 6-under 66 on Friday to double his result in 2 strokes within the PGA Tour’s Corales Puntacana Championship.

Martin had 4 birdies in a late five-hole stretch, ending the afternoon spherical on the entrance 9 at breezy Corales Golf Course.

“I think the course was playing a little easier,” Martin stated. “The wind was up yesterday morning more than it was this afternoon. But it was starting to dry out some in the afternoon, so a little give and take there.”

He started the late run with a birdie on the par-5 fourth and added three extra on the par-4 sixth, par-5 seventh and par-4 eighth. He additionally began quick, birdieing the primary three holes.

“I’ve just been in a great mindset,” Martin stated. “I think more than anything, my swing feels in a good place, I’m rolling it nice. So everything kind of feels easy and I’m not putting too much pressure on myself and making some birdies when I have chances, but not trying to do too much.”

The 34-year-old former Clemson participant has made just one different PGA Tour begin this 12 months, lacking the minimize in Puerto Rico with rounds of 78 and 70. He gained the 2014 Shriners Hospitals for Kids Open for his lone PGA Tour title.

“Not having a great status, I think that motivated me to get back out,” Martin stated. “I would say over the last six months sort of I’ve been working harder, working smarter than I have in the past four or five years.”

Alex Smalley was second at 10 underneath after a 65. The tour rookie out of Duke countered a gap double bogey with an eagle on No. 4 and closed with birdies on Nos. 7 and 9. On his first gap, his mom helped him by discovering his ball in a bush.

“Not how I wanted to start, not super happy, but she saved me a good 190-yard walk,” Smalley stated.

Chad Ramey (65) and Adam Schenk (68) have been 9 underneath. Schenk additionally eagled the fourth. He superior to the weekend for the third time in his previous 10 begins.

“Just play your game and just worry about yourself,” Schenk stated. “I look at handling 18 situations, 18 holes and just handle each situation you get on every hole just to the best of your ability and kind of block out the rest.”

Graeme McDowell, the 2019 winner, was 8 underneath after his second 68. He birdied 4 of his final 5 holes.

“Key finish to get my momentum back moving into the weekend,” McDowell stated. “Continuing to feel very comfortable, like the way the greens are setting up, driving it really well and just got to keep doing more of the same really.”

Nate Lashley was 7 underneath after a 68.

Nicolai Hojgaard of Denmark, the highest-ranked participant within the area at No. 77 on this planet, missed the minimize by a stroke with rounds of 73 and 71. His twin brother, Rasmus, was 4 underneath after a 67.

With the event being performed reverse the Match Play occasion in Austin, Texas, the winner can be exempt into the PGA Championship however not the Masters.

Defending champion Joel Dahmen withdrew due to sickness. He opened with a 71.

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