Friday's golf: Scott Piercy shoots 64, takes 3-shot lead in 3M Open

Paul Hodowanic
Associated Press

Blaine, Minn. — Scott Piercy shot a 7-under 64 on Friday at TPC Twin Cities to take a three-stroke lead in the 3M Open.

Piercy had a 13-under 129 total. The four-time PGA Tour winner opened with a 65 on Thursday in windy conditions.

Second-round leader Scott Piercy follows his shot off the 14th fairway at the 3M Open on Friday at the Tournament Players Club in Blaine, Minn.

Emiliano Grillo was second after a 65. Callum Tarren had a 63 to reach 8 under and Tony Finau (68) was 7 under with Robert Streb (67), Tom Hoge (68), Sungjae Im (70) and Doug Ghim (68).

Starting his afternoon round on the back nine, Piercy birdied the first four holes. He added birdies on No. 2, 6 and 7 coming home to extend his lead and made a 10-footer for par on the par-3 eighth.

“It’s been a little bit since I’ve played like I feel like I should play,” said Piercy, who had missed four of his last six cuts. “To kind of prove it to myself again, I know it’s in there, it’s just like, okay, how do we get it out of me.

“There’s a lot of business to take care of this weekend, but to come out the first two days and do what I did gives me a lot of confidence going into the weekend.”

The 43-year-old Piercy, at 138th place in the FedEx Cup standings with only the top 125 making the playoffs and keeping full PGA Tour status, needs a strong finish over the final three weeks of the PGA Tour season.

“I’ve been out here a long time, I know what I need to do,” he said. “Just wishing I’d have done it earlier in the season.”

Grillo eagled the par-5 6th.

“Obviously that one on 6, it’s a big plus to steal two and it’s a hole that’s kind of hard to get in two, so solid day,” Grillo said.

Tarren was a stroke off the 3M Open tournament record.

“I hit every green today, so I had so many chances,” Tarren said. “I actually missed probably four or five inside 10 feet, so it could have been ridiculous.”

Unaware he was close to the scoring record, the Englishman birdied 15 and 17 and narrowly missed a 46-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th.

Cameron Champ, the 2021 winner, birdied four of his last five holes for a 68 to make the cut on the number at 1 over.

LPGA

Brooke Henderson is setting the pace in record-breaking style at the Evian Championship in Evian-les-Bains, France.

The Canadian shot a second straight 7-under 64 to take a three-stroke lead after the second round of the fourth major of the year on Friday.

She is the first player in the history of the U.S. LPGA to begin a major with two rounds of 64 or lower.

Brooke Henderson plays a shot from a bunker on the 18th hole at the Evian Championship on Friday.

And Henderson, who is 14 under for the tournament, thinks there’s a reason for her fast start.

“I’ve been having a lot of crêpes in France,” she said, smiling. “To keep the momentum going, I’d better have some more.”

Nelly Korda is the only player in the 132-woman field within four shots of Henderson.

The Olympic champion and former No. 1 was three back, having finished birdie-eagle at the picturesque Evian Resort Golf Club to shoot 67.

It is Korda’s fifth event since returning to competitive action after more than four months out because of surgery on a blood clot on her arm.

South Korean players Sei Young Kim (65) and So Yeon Ryu (66) were tied for third place on 9 under, five shots adrift of Henderson. Among the bunch of six players on 8-under par was a Frenchwoman, Perrine Delacour, after her round of 68.

Henderson, who won her only major title at the Women’s PGA Championship in 2016, started her afternoon round four shots behind Korda — who was part of the morning wave – and birdied her first two holes.

There was a bogey at No. 3 and a birdie at No. 9, before Henderson went on a roll over the back nine. She had back-to-back birdies from No. 11 and then made putts from 15 feet, 8 feet and 10 feet for birdies on the final three holes.

“It feels really nice to get off to a fast start in a major championship,” Henderson said.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been able to do that. To get it this far under par is really awesome and I feel like I’m hitting the ball really well, which is nice, and making some putts.”

The highlight of Korda’s round was her second shot at the par-5 18th, a high fade which landed in the middle of the green and rolled to inside 3 feet from the cup. She made no mistake with the putt for eagle.

Korda said she has been suffering from jet lag and barely slept ahead of the early start to her second round, which opened with what she described as 10 “stress-free” pars.

Like Henderson, Korda has won one major championship — last year’s PGA Championship — and was No. 1 in the world when she stopped playing in February.

Now she is No. 3 and is coming off three top-10 finishes in that little stretch since her return.

First-round leader Ayaka Furue shot 72, nine strokes worse than Thursday, and was in a five-strong group on 7 under.

PGA

Scott Piercy shot a 7-under 64 at TPC Twin Cities to take a three-stroke lead in the 3M Open in Blaine, Minnesota.

Piercy had a 13-under 129 total. The four-time PGA Tour winner opened with a 65 on Thursday in windy conditions.

Emiliano Grillo was second after a 65. Callum Tarren had a 63 to reach 8 under and Tony Finau (68) was 7 under with Robert Streb (67), Tom Hoge (68), Sungjae Im (70) and Doug Ghim (68).

Starting his afternoon round on the back nine, Piercy birdied the first four holes. He added birdies on No. 2, 6 and 7 coming home to extend his lead and made a 10-footer for par on the par-3 eighth.

Tarren was a stroke off the 3M Open tournament record. Unaware he was close to the scoring record, the Englishman birdied 15 and 17 and narrowly missed a 46-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th.

Cameron Champ, the 2021 winner, birdied four of his last five holes for a 68 to make the cut on the number at 1 over.

Champions

Chasing a maiden senior major title, Darren Clarke opened a two-shot lead at the Senior British Open after the second round at Gleneagles in Scotland.

Clarke shot a 3-under 67 that left him alone on top of the leaderboard, at 8 under. He had two bogeys and a birdie on the front nine but an excellent back nine punctuated by four birdies.

Scott Parel was two back after an up and down 68.

A group of seven players with nine major championships between them was three strokes off the lead. It included four-time winner Bernhard Langer, Padraig Harrington, Ernie Els, David Frost, 2016 champion Paul Broadhurst, Stephen Ames and Jerry Kelly.

Colin Montgomerie, 2018 champion Miguel Angel Jiménez, Miguel Angel Martin, Steven Alker and Glen Day were four shots off the lead.

Europe

Paul Waring retained his two-shot lead at the Cazoo Classic in Southport, England by shooting 2-under 70 in the second round.

Grant Forrest, Jens Dantorp and Julien Guerrier all shot 69 and were Waring’s nearest challengers at Hillside near Liverpool in northwest England.

Daan Luizing (68) was alone in fifth place a further shot back.

Waring, who shot 63 on Thursday, was 1 over for his round after 10 holes as he struggled with a different wind direction but birdied three of his last eight holes.