The final group is off; now can anyone catch Ben Curtis ? Here’s a look at the contenders.
Every, a 2006 University of Florida graduate, is having the best year of his young career since becoming a member of the PGA TOUR in 2010 with three top-10 finishes in 10 starts this season. One of those came just last week with a tie for eighth at the RBC Heritage.
This also marks the 40th start of Every’s career, and he’s in search of his first win. His best finish so far was a tie for third earlier this year in Mexico.
He’ll need to play better than he has the last two days, however, when he failed to break par in the second or third rounds. Overall, though, he’s driving it well -- T9 in fairways hit -- and hitting a lot of greens -- T3 in greens in regulation. He is, however, just 46th in strokes gained-putting.
Five strokes will be awfully hard to make up on a golf course that has played two strokes over par through the first three rounds, unless Curtis starts going backwards.
But Wi has played well in this tournament in the past, tying for second in 2008 after a career-low tying 61 in the final round.
He probably won’t need to go quite that low here in the final round, but something in the mid-60s would go a long way.
In search of his second win, 21-year-old rookie Huh is coming off his best round of the week, a 5-under 67.
Earlier this year, Huh defeated Robert Allenby in sudden death at the Mayakoba Golf Classic to become 2012’s first rookie winner. Should he win this week, he would become fifth rookie to win multiple times in a season, dating to 1990. Most recently, Keegan Bradley achieved the feat last year, having won the HP Byron Nelson Championship and PGA Championship.
Rookie Seung-yul Noh made seven birdies on his way to a 4-under 68 in the third round, but like Wi and Huh, has five shots to make up.
Noh has won twice, overseas, however. On TOUR, his best finish of the year was a tie for 16th in Mexico.
One thing he’s had going for him this week: Putting. He’s fifth in the field in putts per green in regulation.
Twenty-five players returned to TPC San Antonio on Saturday morning to complete the second round, which was delayed Friday due to a two-hour weather delay.
Round 1 leader Matt Every finished the 17th hole with a birdie to get within two of the lead, but he bogeyed the 18th to finish at 7 under, three back of Ben Curtis, who finished Friday.
The cut remained at 4 over. Rookie Billy Hurley III holed a six-footer for par to make it on the number.
The winds are expected to make it rough on the leaders late Saturday, with wind gusts of around 20 mph.
Matt Every talks about his play in the 2012 Valero Texas Open with Bill Rosinski from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
The talk of the golf equipment world last week at the Sony Open in Hawaii was that thing in Matt Every’s hands on the greens of Waialae. It worked very well as a putter but depending on who you watched on TV or followed on Twitter or read on equipment blogs, it was an ashtray, shoebox, VHS tape, dustpan or radar detector – to cite a few of the many nicknames.
It was a mystery then, and in many ways it still is now.
Every’s putter is called Black Hawk, by a company named Orion Golf. Not that you’d know that from looking at it; the black clubhead has no identifiers. Nor would you learn anything else about it by visiting a major golf retailer or 99.99 percent of the country’s pro shops. They won’t have the Black Hawk.
The club is for sale, but serious legwork is required to buy one.
Josh Anderson, PGA Professional at Magnolia Point Golf and Country Club outside Jacksonville, Fla., has fielded calls in the last few days from around the United States and as far away as Germany. Golfers want to buy one, yet he won’t sell them one.
The club’s founder, David Kargetta of Daytona Beach, Fla., has asked Anderson and a select few other pro shops in Florida – the only places where the putter can be found – to not make any sales by mail.
For starters, it’s a putter that must be custom-fit to be used properly. The putter, with its wide and heavy clubhead, can stand by itself and is meant to be held parallel to the ground by a player. But to use it properly it must be fit so the heel or toe is not raised.
“The fact is if you get fit for it, it guarantees your hands are in the exact same spot every time. It takes out that variable,” Anderson said. “The putter has no loft on it, so it takes that bias out of the equation. And the sweet spot is three balls wide – you can’t mis-hit it.”
Kargetta is a mechanical engineer and has all the data behind his invention, plus holds a patent on it, but has been reluctant to talk about it even as golf writers have clamored for more information. Instead, he has sold a few PGA pros like Anderson on the product’s merits, and has earned their loyalty by reimbursing for the time it takes them to fit the clubs to consumers.
The Black Hawk costs $259 while its sister Black Swan, featuring a cutout semicircle in the rear of the clubhead for alignment aid, costs $299. Neither model comes with a headcover.
Had Every held on to win the Sony, word is a website for the company would have launched that night. But he didn’t, so the Black Hawk is still largely under wraps. Orion Golf also won’t have a booth at next week’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, where the golf industry gathers to see what’s new in the game.
Instead, the putter will be on display at a few nearby courses, still largely a mystery.
STANDING PAT: With breakout 2011 that included two wins and second-place finishes in the FedExCup and money race, Webb Simpson could have shopped his bag over the offseason and cashed in big. But it never crossed his mind.
“I'm old school in my thoughts of switching equipment; as long as I'm feeling good with what I'm using and its ability to perform well, then I won't switch,” Simpson said last week at the Sony. “I've used the same irons now for ten years, the same ones or I've got newer sets but the same exact model and driver I've used for three years.
“I don't want to change. I've seen players do it over and over again, and they struggle the next year; it takes them a few years to figure it out again. I would rather go win $2 million on the course and make nothing off than win half a million on the course and make 4 off. The way we are wired, we want to play good golf and it doesn't matter the other way.”
CUTTING EDGE: TaylorMade got the last laugh from a golf blogger who was unmoved by the company’s claims of significant yardage gains from its new RocketBallz 3-wood.
The writer said if he gained the 17 or more yards advertised by TaylorMade, he’d shave the company’s logo “T” into his head and dye it green.
The company, not one to miss a marketing opportunity or an offer to back up its products, flew the blogger from upstate New York to its Carlsbad, Calif., headquarters. The blogger picked up some 40 yards Tuesday in a comparison test of the RocketBallz to his old 3-wood, and a hired barber was on hand to help the blogger pay off his bet.
NEW WINNER: Johnson Wagner won at Waialae with TaylorMade’s new R11S driver. The company touts the driver’s “3D Tuning” capability, where golfers can adjust loft up to 1.5 degrees, face angles in five different configurations and tune the club’s center of gravity toward the heel or toe.
Greg Norman, playing at this week’s Humana Challenge, had an R11S built in the TaylorMade truck this week with eight degrees of loft.
COOK’S UTENSILS: John Cook, a winner three times last season on the Champions Tour, revealed last week on the Tour’s Facebook page that his longtime Nike allegiances are over. He’s playing the TaylorMade R11S driver, a Titleist ball and "everything else is whatever I feel I need to have in my bag.” He also said he’ll be wearing clothing from Leisure Society.
ETC: Brian Gay, T6 at the Sony, has a new driver, hybrid and 3-wood and said he’s hitting it farther . … Justin Leonard, previously with Nike is the newest face in the TaylorMade stable. He was among nine players at the Sony with the company’s new Penta TP5 ball. … Ross Fisher signed with Nike Golf for a club and clothing deal, the company announced Wednesday.
QUOTABLE: Bridgestone signed TV personality and former touring pro David Feherty to a multi-year deal. In the company’s press release, Feherty provided his own material:
"Not a lot of people know this, but I am a huge ball expert. In fact, over the years I played for a living, my balls took a lot of punishment in the form of tops, shanks, cuts, scrapes, and I've even lost a couple. As it turns out, I was playing with balls that should have been hit by someone else in the first place! Well, you live and learn.”
WINNER’S BAG: Johnson Wagner at the Sony
Open in Hawaii:
Driver: TaylorMade R11S, 8 degrees (Aldila RIP NV shaft)
3-wood: TaylorMade Burner SuperFast 2.0, 13.5 degrees
Hybrid: Adams Idea Pro a12, 18 degrees
Irons: Titleist CB 3-9
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Spin Milled PW, 54, 60 degrees
Putter: Scotty Cameron Prototype
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
HONOLULU -- Matt Every is 10 under after shooting a 6-under 64 in Friday's second round at Waialae. When he walked off the course, he was the clubhouse leader.
"Just normal stuff," Every said.
Well, not exactly that normal. In 29 previous PGA TOUR starts, Every has one top-10 finish, a tie for eighth two years ago at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
But what Every meant is that his game felt normal. He avoided mistakes (it was a bogey-free day), rolled in a few putts (three from outside 20 feet) and struck his irons crisply (12 of 18 greens in regulation).
Having played 20 events on the Nationwide Tour last year and finishing 18th on the money list with four top-10 finishes, the University of Florida grad simply feels like this week's start at the Sony Open is a carryover from last year.
"I'm not saying like I'm going to be on top of the leaderboard every week," Every said, "but it's not a surprise to me. I know that I can, you know?
"It's only two rounds, though, so it's not that big of a deal."
The 28-year-old Every said he's been hitting the ball well the last six months -- so well, in fact, that he would walk off the practice range after 20 minutes because, he said, "there was no need for me to sit there and try and mess it up."
Having played just five TOUR events last year after playing 18 in his rookie year of 2010, Every said he feels like he's a rookie again, that he has the hunger to compete and win.
Sound very normal.