Piercy takes three-time lead at PGA 3M Open
Washington (AFP) – Scott Piercy opened with four straight birdies en route to a par 64 seven-under, taking a three-shot lead after Friday’s second round of the US PGA Tour’s 3M Open.
The 43-year-old American’s bogey-free round put him on 13-under 129 after 36 holes at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota.
“It’s awesome,” Piercy said. “It’s been a little while since I played like I should. To prove it to myself again, I know it’s in there, it’s just like, ‘OK, how can we do it get out of me?'”
Argentinian Emiliano Grillo, chasing his first PGA victory since 2015, finished second on 132 with England’s Callum Tarren third on 134 after a sizzling 63, one on the course record.
Piercy, a 2016 US Open runner-up, is aiming for his fifth PGA title, but his first solo crown since the 2015 Barbasol Championship. He is 1-4 with a 36-hole lead in the PGA, winning at the 2012 Canadian Open.
“There’s a lot of business to take care of this weekend,” Piercy said. “But going out the first two days and doing what I did gives me a lot of confidence going into the weekend.”
Starter back nine Piercy, ranked 297th in the world, shared the 18-hole lead and charged early in the second round with a birdie frenzy.
Piercy sank a 27-foot birdie putt at the 10th, a 10-footer at 11, another just outside four feet at the par-5 12th and the last from just under six feet at the par-3 13th. .
It was the third time in his PGA career that Piercy had started a round with four birdies following the third rounds of last year’s Palmetto Championship and 2019 Heritage Tournament.
Piercy birdie putted 17 feet on the second hole and added birdie putts just outside 10 feet on the par-5 sixth and par-4 seventh.
Grillo, third at the 2020 3M Open, had five birdies and an eagle against just one bogey.
“I played well. Everything worked out,” Grillo said. “I made a few putts. Happy days.”
World number 132 Grillo, who tied for second place three weeks ago at the John Deere Classic, won his only PGA title at the 2015 Frys.com Open in just his eighth start.
Grillo had five birdies and an eagle against just one bogey. He hit a 40-foot eagle putt after hitting the green in two at the par-5 sixth.
“When you have such a long putt, you try to focus on speed,” Grillo said of his effort on the sixth hole. “I was just trying to read the break and hit a great putt.”
PGA rookie Tarren, ranked 335th, used a new putter on his first round and shot 71, but reverted to his familiar flatstick on Friday.
“I put my old trustys back on today and it worked. Great lap,” Tarren said.
Tarren, sixth at John Deere, hit all 18 greens in regulation and said he played better because he was more comfortable with the circuit.
“My confidence is high and I want to win a golf tournament,” he said. “My mindset has almost totally changed from just wanting to make cuts.”
South Korean Im Sung-jae, who shared the 18-hole lead with Piercy at 65, was six adrift at 135 with Americans Tony Finau, Tom Hoge, Doug Ghim and Robert Streb.
© 2022 AFP