PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) — Max Homa did not make the lower and could not even shoot par his earlier three journeys to the Valspar Championship. He had a easy clarification for why he is taking part in properly this 12 months.
“I think I’m just better at golf now,” Homa mentioned Friday.
With a 3-wood that arrange a brief eagle putt and some lengthy birdie putts with excellent tempo, Homa stumbled a bit at the tip and nonetheless had a 3-under 68 to share the early lead with Lucas Glover.
Keegan Bradley, who had a two-shot lead after the opening spherical at Innisbrook, was amongst these taking part in within the steamy afternoon with temperatures once more pushing 90.
Glover had a great stretch of his personal, hitting 6-iron from 209 yards to 4 ft on No. 3, the toughest gap of the second spherical on the Copperhead course. He adopted that with a chip 7-iron to a entrance pin simply over the bunker on the par-3 fourth, settling 4 ft away for an additional birdie.
Glover had three beauty over the ultimate 4 holes with out making them, although he was lots glad with a 65 to hitch Homa at 8-under 134.
Homa remains to be driving excessive from his victory at Riviera in February, which he gained in a playoff over Tony Finau. He is also transferring nearer to his final aim of taking part in properly at any time when and wherever he tees it up.
It’s not excellent each week. It seems good at Innisbrook, notably his placing. His 25-foot birdie putt on the par-3 seventeenth and his 30-foot birdie putt down the hill at No. 4 had simply the fitting contact. He has been working onerous on the longer putts, and it reveals.
Homa cannot discover an excessive amount of mistaken with any a part of his recreation at the second.
“Good golf is good golf. Good golf travels,” Homa mentioned. “When you’re not playing well, it doesn’t matter how comfortable you are; you’re still probably not going to play so good. My game just feels a lot more whole, a lot better, a lot more repeatable. I feel like I’m not showing up on certain weeks feeling like I just don’t have it at all, which is good.”
Among those that performed early, previous champion Charl Schwartzel (65), Sungjae Im (67), Zach Johnson (67) and Tom Lewis of England (65) have been one shot behind.
Dustin Johnson made sufficient putts for a 68 and was at 3-under 139, whereas Justin Thomas felt as if he made nothing at all in his spherical of 71 that left him one other shot behind.
Glover is making an attempt to construct confidence. Unlike Homa, he would not have a current victory to present him a spark. The final win for the previous U.S. Open champion was 10 years in the past at Quail Hollow.
Still, there’s a rhythm to how he performs and the way he walks that’s beginning to look acquainted. Glover would not waste any time stepping over the ball and making contact — normally in the course of the clubface — nor does he get overly excited on a Friday.
But it is a step in the fitting course. His iron play has been common. His brief recreation has bailed him out. All he desires now’s to get his recreation a bit extra tidy.
“Two more rounds to go. A lot can happen,” Glover mentioned. “But I’m happy the way I’m playing, happy with the way I’m putting and just want to have a shot.”