Golf Update: Pendrith leads Rocket Mortgage Classic; Watson moves to LIV

Posted by: Hilbert Mayer
Rocket Mortgage Classic

Rocket Mortgage Classic: Comebacking Taylor Pendrith sizzled for a 7-under-par 65 to take the second-round lead in the US PGA Rocket Mortgage Classic on Friday in Detroit, Michigan. Chasing his first US PGA Tour title, the 31-year-old Canadian carded eight birdies and one bogey at the Detroit Golf Club for a two-round aggregate of 15-under 129. Pendrith, who found 13 of 14 fairways in the second round, was a stroke ahead of Tony Finau at the halfway mark. Finau is coming off a victory in the 3M Open last week. The Canadian, who opened with a 64, continued his surge in the second round, burying four straight birdies in the first four holes. The world number 237 notched another birdie in the seventh and picked up three more in the back-nine.

Rocket Mortgage Classic: Finau, Hodges in Close Pursuit

Finau, meanwhile, registered a bogey-free 66 for a 14-under 130 total. The American rolled a birdie in the second hole and notched another in the 10th. A par save in the 11th hole kickstarted Finau’s back-nine charge. He birdied the next three holes and grabbed a share of the lead in the 17th with a birdie.  Lee Hodges carded his second-straight 66 to move to solo third with a 132. Cameron Young (63), Russell Henley (65), and Stewart Cink (66) are in fourth spot at 134. Sahith Theegala (67), Adam Scott (66), Stephan Jaeger (68), Kim Si-woo (68), Patrick Cantlay (65) and Scott Stallings (65) are in joint seventh at 135. The leaderboard is packed with the top golfers in the US PGA circuit, and Pendrith needs to maintain his poise to secure his first Tour win and pull off a big surprise for golf oddsmakers who bet against him.

Two-time Masters Champion Heads to LIV Golf

American Bubba Watson is the latest parbuster who confirmed his move to Saudi-backed LIV Golf. The 86th-ranked, two-time Masters champion Watson confirmed the development on Friday in an interview during the first round of the LIV Golf Invitational at the Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey. However, Watson may not play until next year as he is sidelined with a right knee injury that needed surgery. The American becomes the latest defector from the US PGA circuit to the Greg Norman-led LIV Golf.

Stenson Leads LIV Golf Invitational

Meanwhile, Henrik Stenson opened with a 7-under-par effort to share the first-round lead with former Masters champion Patrick Reed in the LIV Golf Invitational. Stenson, who was stripped of his European Ryder Cup captaincy last week after confirming his transfer to the upstart group, birdied the final two holes for a share of the top spot. Reed carded eight birdies and one bogey to share the lead with Stenson. The pair are two shots ahead of Phachara Khongwatmai and three ahead of Dustin Johnson and Carlos Ortiz. Four golfers – Martin Kaymer, Brooks Koepka, Charles Howell III and Ian Poulter – share sixth place at 3-under. Sports betting sites are now looking at LIV Golf as an alternative to the prestigious US PGA and the DP World Tours. Despite the short three-round format, the excitement is there, and the top professional golfers are battling it out for the latest tournament in New Jersey.