FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Chris Kirk aced the 17th hole on Friday during the second round of The Barclays.
Kirk used a 5-iron on the 190-yard hole. The ace helped turn things around after a difficult start that saw Kirk, who had opened with a 68, bogey four of his first six holes.
Kirk is now 2 over for the tournament and tied for 39th.
Chris Kirk didn’t exactly envision the start he got off to on Saturday.
“Every time I hit a decent shot I'd have a 10-footer that was right edge up there, and kind of left myself in perfect position on the entire front nine,” Kirk said.
He took advantage of them, too.
Kirk birdied six of seven holes, including four in a row at one point, on the front nine during Saturday’s third round. He added another on the 10th and shot 63 to move into contention at 12 under in the RBC Canadian Open.
“It was a dream start,” Kirk said. “That front nine, everything was going right.”
Now he’ll hope for a dream finish as he tries to win for the second time in his career.
If Kirk keeps playing the way he has, he’ll certainly have a chance. He’s made just one bogey this week -- though it was a costly triple bogey on the 18th hole in the opening round.
Through two rounds, Kirk has hit 78 percent of his greens and ranks in the top 10 in strokes gained-putting.
“I always had the theory that you always have these days when the putts are going in the middle of the hole and everything's working out, so you have to get as many as you can on the days you have it,” Kirk said.
He did just that, taking 26 putts on Saturday.
The pairings have been unveiled for this week’s PGA TOUR Matchups Game on Facebook. You can check out the Matchups for the British Open below, or on the PGA TOUR’s Facebook page.
Participants have until 6 a.m. ET Thursday to make their picks. Log on to the PGA TOUR Facebook page and click the Matchups link to make your picks for this week, or to sign up.
Matchups for the British Open:
|Tiger Woods vs. Bubba Watson||Will these two big hitters bag their drivers for the entire week?|
|Padraig Harrington vs. Rory McIlroy||Two Irishmen -- and two different ways of navigating the links|
|Sergio Garcia vs. Dustin Johnson||Both have come oh-so-close to winning this event|
|Luke Donald vs. Lee Westwood||Will one of these greats finally snag that elusive major?|
|Darren Clarke vs. Louis Oosthuizen||The last two British Open champs clash at Royal Lytham|
Got a question for Chris Kirk? Send us your questions for Direct Connect — PGATOUR.COM’s video franchise that gets you closer to a PGA TOUR pro each week — and host John Swantek might use it when he chats the defending champion of the True South Classic.
If you’ve been wanting to ask Kirk a question, now is your opportunity. Just fill out the form below.
Also, we are now taking video submissions of questions. If you would like to send a video of you asking your question, please email the video to firstname.lastname@example.org . Please keep video to 20 seconds or less, shoot landscape style, and include your name and where you’re from in the text of your email.
Direct Connect video is posted each Wednesday afternoon on PGATOUR.COM, so please check back then for the Kirk interview.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
KAPALUA, Hawaii -- Chris Kirk had to play as a single in the first round after playing partner and good friend Lucas Glover pulled out prior to their tee time with a knee injury.
Things didn't go too well for Kirk, as he shot a 2-over 75.
For Saturday's second round, Kirk had a playing partner. Jhonattan Vegas.
The result for Kirk? Much better -- a 7-under 66 which moved him onto the first page of the leaderboard, albeit 10 shots behind leader Steve Stricker, who’s at 15 under.
"I don't want to put too much blame on having to play by myself yesterday," Kirk said, "but that definitely threw my rhythm off a little bit, being in a single amongst a bunch of twosomes."
Because the first-round tee times were already set prior to Glover's decision not to play, Kirk could not be moved to the front of the line of the 27-man field. With the pairings reshuffled for Saturday, David Toms was the single who went out in the first group, and he took just three hours to finish his round.
"I ended up waiting a lot," Kirk said. "Just waiting in general kind of throws you off your normal rhythm."
Kirk said the difference in his game from Friday to Saturday had nothing to do with any adjustments in his swing. He just felt better. The fact he produced one of just three bogey-free rounds on the day (Stricker and Jonathan Byrd had the other two) is a testament to just feeling in control.
His only glitch came on the par-5 18th when he failed to birdie after driving the green in two. He ended up three-putting from 38 feet.
"It definitely stinks to finish up a round like that," Kirk said. "Still, if you told me I was going to have 7 under at the start of the day, I would've taken it."
KAPALUA, Hawaii – Chris Kirk was scheduled to be paired with Lucas Glover in Friday’s first round at the Plantation Course. But when Glover pulled out a few hours before his tee time with a knee injury, that left Kirk by himself.
As Kirk waited on the tee, someone reminded him: “By the way, you’ll be swinging first in this group.”
Replied Kirk with a wry smile, “Thank you.”
Kirk is making his first appearance after winning the Viking Classic last year. He also posted three other top-10 finishes in his rookie season on TOUR.
Kirk, decked out in his usual Travis Mathew attire, was wearing the company’s new Steadman shoes that look like canvas deck shoes, albeit with a specially designed sole for golf.
Three players who won PGA TOUR events in 2011 are among the names ranked No. 81-90 that were unveiled Friday on PGATOUR.COM’s Top 100 Players to Watch in 2012.
Below is a link to each of the 10 players who were revealed on Friday. PGATOUR.COM will countdown the players for the rest of December, with No. 1 unveiled on Dec. 30.
Be sure to check out this year’s new addition of the Three Wise Men – Chris DiMarco, Arron Oberholser and Craig Perks, who offer their takes on each of the players on the list .
Let’s us know how you think these players will perform in 2012 and whether we ranked ‘em too high, too low or just right.