Taylor Pendrith of Canada shot a 7-under-par 65 Friday to take a one-shot lead over Tony Finau into the weekend in the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit.
Pendrith and Finau shared the first-round lead at 8 under and will be in the final group Saturday, pairing a 31-year-old PGA Tour rookie with a 32-year-old veteran coming off his third career victory.
Pendrith is playing in his third tournament after being out for nearly four months with a broken rib, a break that reminded him of his youth.
“We have a long offseason in Canada, so I didn’t touch a club all winter basically growing up so I guess I’m kind of used to it in a way,” he said.
Pendrith said matter of factly that he can compete with the best when he’s healthy and has showed that so far at Detroit Golf Club.
No one, though, has been better than Finau lately.
The Salt Lake City native with Tongan-Samoan heritage is 32 under over his last 107 holes, including rallying from a five-shot deficit last Sunday in Minnesota to win the 3M Open by three shots.
LIV Golf — Henrik Stenson had a happy return to golf after being removed as European Ryder Cup captain, making eight birdies in his LIV Golf Invitational debut at Bedminster, N.J., for a 7-under 64 to share the 18-hole lead with Patrick Reed.
Phil Mickelson’s return to the area wasn’t entirely happy. As he was teeing off at Trump National Bedminster, a spectator yelled out, “Do it for the Saudi royal family!”
Mickelson is immensely popular in the New York area, winning a PGA Championship at nearby Baltusrol and finishing as a runner-up four times at U.S. Opens in New York. He now is seen as the chief recruiter for Greg Norman and the Saudi-funded LIV Golf series.
The rest of his day did not get much better, particularly the end. He missed a 12-foot birdie putt on his final hole, then ran the 3-footer for par some 6 feet by the hole. He finished with a 75.
Reed also had a 64 in his second LIV Golf event. His round featured six birdies in a seven-hole stretch during the shotgun start.
LPGA — Lydia Ko shot a second straight 7-under 65 to lead by two strokes after two rounds of the Scottish Open. Ko, who finished strongly at the Evian Championship last week to tie for third place, has continued her good form in perfect conditions over the Dundonald Links and remains bogey-free heading into the weekend.
To start her back nine, from the first hole, the No. 4-ranked New Zealander had three birdies in four holes before making eagle at No. 5. She then birdied her last hole to move to 14 under overall.
“I think especially in conditions like this, where the wind is pretty calm and the sun is out, you have to take advantage of it,” Ko said, “because we all know that over on this side of the world, it can change pretty quick.”
Lilia Vu shot 67 and was alone in second place.
European — Sean Crocker retained his one-stroke lead at the Hero Open after shooting 6-under 66 in the second round of the European tour event in Scotland at Fairmont St. Andrews.