Watch: Harry Higgs makes walk-off albatross to shoot 62 at Safeway Open

NAPA, California – Harry Higgs had a day to remember at Silverado Resort & Spa’s North Course. He capped off a 10-under 62 by (...)

Watch: Harry Higgs makes walk-off albatross to shoot 62 at Safeway Open

NAPA, California – Harry Higgs had a day to remember at Silverado Resort & Spa’s North Course. He capped off a 10-under 62 by holing out his second shot from 230 yards at the par-5 ninth hole for an albatross.

“There’s not really much to say. I hit my 4-iron solid, it drew a little bit, landed short, rolled in the hole,” he said. “I mean, what a wonderful way to end the day and also just really weird. Being the last hole, it’s so final.”

Higgs said he knew he hit it on the button and then he heard a volunteer stationed just left of the green scream, “It’s in the hole, it’s in the hole!”

Higgs’s reaction was priceless.

SAFEWAY OPEN: Leaderboard | Tee times, TV info

“I just took my club and threw it on the ground. It was just full panic,” he said. “You get so amped up and excited, I might fling that thing and Lord knows where it goes. I’m sure it looked funny and ridiculous. I’m sure it could probably be a ‘not top-10 play’ just based on the poor reaction that I gave it.

“No, I mean, what a great way to finish. I had a little panic freakout, jump for joy and then I threw my club.”

Once the euphoria dissipated, his mind shifted to what did marking a two on his scorecard do for his chances in the Safeway Open.

“I finished and said, ‘What did we even shoot?’ I felt like I was 6, 7, 8, something like that,” he said. Try 10, as in under and a bogey-free day to boot. “It was just one of those days where good numbers, good feel, was really exact, didn’t ever push it too far where you could short-side yourself if you mis-hit it. I holed plenty of putts and they were often pretty close, but I holed plenty of putts. There are a few more that I would like to have, I left a couple short throughout the day, but you can’t complain, I just shot 62. If I complain, no one’s going to listen.”

Starting the second round on the back nine, Higgs made back-to-back birdies at Nos. 11 and 12, and then reeled off four birdies in a row beginning at 15. He made the turn in 30. He tacked on a birdie at the third hole when he drained a 14-foot birdie, but then cooled off with five straight pars before his remarkable finish. And what did Higgs do with his albatross ball?

“I signed it and gave it to the volunteer,” he said. “Rufus was with us today, I just signed it, ‘Thanks for going with us, 2 on No. 9,’ a couple exclamation points, signed it and handed it to him. I figure that was better than me keeping it and losing it.”

It marked the first albatross on the Tour since Johnson Wagner in the first round of the 2019 RSM Classic at the 15th hole, and Higgs became the third player in tournament history to do so.

Higgs recorded one of seven top-25 finishes here a year ago in his rookie campaign, and is searching for his first PGA Tour title. He improved to 13-under 131 and trails Sam Burns by two strokes at the midway point. His final-hole heroics made for an unforgettable round, but Higgs was worried about probably the only potential downside of making an albatross.

“I hope that I can like calm down in an hour or so, so I can take a nap,” he said. “I was looking forward to a nap all day long and I might be too jacked up now to actually fall asleep.”

Source : Golf Week More   

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Pat Perez sheds long locks: 'It was just driving me nuts'

NAPA, California – New season, new hairdo for Pat Perez, who hacked off several inches a week ago. That doesn’t deserve a breaking news (...)

Pat Perez sheds long locks: 'It was just driving me nuts'

NAPA, California – New season, new hairdo for Pat Perez, who hacked off several inches a week ago. That doesn’t deserve a breaking news bulletin by any stretch of the imagination, but after going a year without doing so, his look this week is noticeably different.

He went from Steven Seagal waking up from a coma in the movie “Hard to Kill” to, well, Pat Perez.

“I had to, I couldn’t do it anymore. It was blowing in my eyes last week,” said the also clean-shaven Perez. “I feel like I lost 40 pounds. I don’t look like it, but I feel like I did.”

That’s not the only change for Perez. He moved the position of the golf ball in his stance on his putting stroke and the putts started rolling in. Perez carded a 3-under 69 on Friday at Silverado Resort and Spa’s North Course to improve to 10-under 134 after 36 holes at the Safeway Open.

SAFEWAY OPEN: Leaderboard | Tee times, TV info

“My ball was just too far up, which makes me hit across it and up, which makes it spin right. Left to rights, I’ve been really bad on them,” said Perez of his decision to move the ball about two balls back in his stance. “Started making some putts and I thought, you know, might as well go with it. I’m pretty comfortable standing over the putter right now.”

Perez already has holed over 212 feet of putts through 36 holes and ranks sixth in the field in Strokes Gained: Putting (+3.681).

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And then the hair was gone.

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Perez also worked with swing instructor Drew Steckel on making a swing change that is paying quick dividends.

“I’ve finally tried to get (my wrist) bowed at the top more, then drop it in the slot. It’s really hard because I’ve done it the other way for so long and I’ve just been reluctant to do it. But I started hitting it just so bad and so sideways, I just couldn’t do it anymore, I had to make a switch,” he said. “I’m so afraid of hitting it left with that motion, but when I do it right, it just feels incredible. I’ve seen some shots this week I haven’t seen in so long, I’m pretty excited about it going forward throughout this fall season. Keep working on it and see what happens.”

Perez, 44, heard his fair share of jokes about his long hair, but his wife liked it so he kept his barber at bay. He appreciated being told that the shorter ‘do made him look younger.

A before and after of Pat Perez who had a major haircut. (Kyle Terada/ USA Today Sports and Jed Jacobsoh/Getty Images)

“I heard it all. Great moss, lettuce, hockey hair, you name it,” he said, noting that he might grow it long again. “It was just driving me nuts. It was so hot this summer and it just was like a drape.”

Almost as long as his hair is the length of the time since Perez has been part of the trophy hunt. His last of three Tour victories was the 2017 CIMB Classic, and he hasn’t recorded a top-10 finish since the 2019 Mayakoba Classic nearly a year ago. He withdrew from his two most recent starts with a foot injury at the Wyndham Championship and an ankle injury at the Northern Trust. Perez trails leader Sam Burns by five strokes.

“I’ve played horrible for so many weeks, I was fighting trying to get going, trying to hit it like this, but now, I don’t know, it always feels great being in contention,” he said. “That’s why we’re out here, to have a chance to win, at least have a good week and that’s all you ask for.”

 

Source : Golf Week More   

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