Top-ranked Scottie Scheffler and several golfers played “how low can you go?”
Scheffler carded a nine-under-par 64 to take a one-stroke lead over Tyrrell Hatton of England, Brandon Todd and Sungjae Im of South Korea midway through 71st edition The Sentry on the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
“I took a lot of time off after the Ryder Cup,” said Scheffler, who has won seven times in the last two years including the 2022 Masters and the 2023 Players. “I went on vacation afterward. I took a nice break at home and I started doing a lot of other stuff.
“I played a lot of pickleball, kept my mind off golf. I came back excited, ready to practice. And even in my time off I still put in the work in the gym, which really helps me when it comes to getting back into golf shape.
“If I just try to stay in shape as best I can when I get back out, so it doesn’t take me too long to get my swing back. Whereas, when I took long breaks when I was younger, I don’t think my body moved in a proper way and I think that’s been a huge difference for me.”
Scheffler sank a 24-foot eagle putt on the fifth hole and added eight birdies against a single bogey at No. 2 in his 64 and recorded a 36-hole total of 16-under-par 130, the lowest score in his career in relation to par after two rounds.
Hatton, who said he was worn out after the long flight from England, sank an 97-foot eagle putt from just off the green on the last hole to cap at 62 that included 10 birdies and one bogey, while Todd made a 32-foot eagle putt on the fifth hole en route to a 64, and Im made five of his eight birdies on the front nine in a 66.
“I guess it shows how much of a stupid game it is,” said Hatton, who has 10 pro victories, including the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational. “Obviously, I putted amazing today, that’s the big thing for how my score ended up as low as it was. Yeah, with how bad my body felt, I’m surprised that — going out this morning, that score was just not even entering my mind. It’s more probably like over, over par.
“Yeah, pray for my body these next six weeks because I’m playing Sony next week, and flying straight from there to Dubai for six days, and flying back to Orlando for five days, before flying back to West Coast. I mean, I’m a plank of wood as it is, and by the end of that trip it’s going to be brutal.”
Fourth-ranked Viktor Hovland of Norway, the reigning FedEx Cup champion, sank a 53-foot eagle putt on the last hole to cap a bogey-free 67 and is two shots behind in a tie for fifth with Collin Morikawa of La Canada Flintridge and Cal, who posted a bogey-free 67; Chris Kirk, who had five straight birdies on the back nine in a 65, and Byeong Hun An of South Korea, who made a six-foot eagle putt on No. 18 to finish with a bogey-free 64.
Eighth-ranked Matt Fitzpatrick of England eagled No. 5 and birdied five of the last six holes for a 64 and is three strokes down in a tie for ninth with ninth-ranked Brian Harman, who had four birdies on each nine in a 66; first-round leader Sahith Theegala of Chino Hills and Pepperdine, who followed his 64 with a 69; 2016 Sentry champion Jordan Spieth, who birdied three of the last four holes for a 67; Akshay Bhatia of Northridge, who made the last of his nine birdies on the final two holes in a 64, and Sepp Straka of Austria, who birdied three of the last four holes for a 66.
Fifth-ranked Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA is tied for 15th after making three birdies on the last four holes in a 68, sixth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State birdied the last hole for a bogey-free 69 and is tied for 20th, while seventh-ranked Max Homa of Valencia and Cal birdied two of the last three holes for a 69 and is in a tie for 23rd that includes 2023 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Eric Cole, who made five of his eight birdies on the front nine in a 66.
For complete results and third-round tee times, visit: https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard