2021 Houston Open: Martin Trainer in unfamiliar territory with a one-shot lead after a 65 in Round 2

HOUSTON (AP) — Martin Coach was in uncommon territory Friday. Not solely did he play nicely sufficient to stay round for the weekend, he discovered himself main the Houston Open.

Coach holed a pair of lengthy birdie putts and three brief ones in a bogey-free spherical at Memorial Park for a 5-under 65 and a one-shot lead over Kevin Tway.

The second spherical will not be accomplished till Saturday morning because the event tried to catch up from a protracted climate delay at first of the event.

Whereas the reduce wouldn’t be made till then, it was just about sure four-time main champion Brooks Koepka who would miss for the second straight week.

That is part of golf Coach is aware of all too nicely.

He gained the Puerto Rico Open in 2019 as a rookie, after which it was all downhill after that. Coach has made solely 9 cuts in 70 begins on the PGA Tour since then, and a type of was the winners-only Sentry Match of Champions at Kapalua that had no reduce.

He had missed seven in a row courting to the 3M in July.

After which the 30-year-old Coach confirmed up at Houston and made the sport look less complicated than it has for the final two years.

“Final week I hit the ball rather well for the primary time in a very long time and I simply did not putt very nicely,” Coach mentioned. “So I figured if I may by some means do each these on the identical time — to be truthful, each single participant says that each single week. However for me, it had been such a very long time coming. It actually was a grind for a very long time.

“So now to lastly be capable of put it collectively … you need to hope that that is the week.”

No want telling that to Tway, who gained the Safeway Open to start out the 2018 season and has just one different high 10 over his subsequent 72 occasions on the PGA Tour.

Tway had a pair of eagles in his spherical of 64, holing a 60-foot chip on the par-5 third gap after which holing out from 107 yards within the fairway on the par-4 thirteenth. He was tied for the lead till lacking a 5-foot par putt on the seventeenth gap.

Jason Kokrak was 8 below with seven holes left.

Adam Lengthy was one other stroke again after a 67.

The low spherical of the day belonged to Scottie Scheffler, who had a 62 and was within the group 4 photographs behind that included fellow Texas Longhorn Kramer Hickok.

To see Coach’s identify atop the leaderboard was a shock contemplating what number of cuts he has missed and the way discouraging it could possibly get.

Certain, there have been instances he contemplated his future within the recreation. His exemption from successful in Puerto Rico runs out after this season. However he at all times had hope, and he knew that whereas it is exhausting to win on the PGA Tour, he had performed it earlier than.

“It’s demoralizing if you hold lacking cuts again and again,” Coach mentioned. “It has been robust at instances for me the final couple years not taking part in nicely, however now that I discovered a bit of little bit of ball-striking, dropped some putts, it actually can flip round that shortly.

“So I am simply grateful that that is occurring to me this week and hopefully I will hold it going.”

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