FORT WORTH, TX — Harris’s English he joked to his caddy that no one could beat him on the eighth hole of the Colonial par 3, which is true after following his birdie in the opening round by hitting a hole-in-one on Friday. Only one player is ahead of him in the general classification.
PGA Tour rookie Harry Hall from England held the solo lead for 36 holes with a score of 12 under 128, making a spectacular sand save on the same par 3 to gain a three-bar lead over the Englishman. After opening with 8 under 62, Hall had four more birdies midway through his second inning 66.
Hall’s birdie streak ended with a bogey on his third par 4, his 12th day of the day, when he missed the fairway and then found himself ahead of the green in front of two 9-foot putts.
In the last group of the day, Hall hit his #8 tee shot into the sand before the green. Hall failed to get the ball out of the deep bunker on the first attempt, but saved the par by knocking it to the edge of the green on the next attempt and watching it roll into the cup.
Englishman’s 170-yard ace eight was part of his 66 no bogey.
“Hard 9 … I moved it about 4 or 5 yards to the right of where I was aiming, but it’s good that the hole got in the way,” said English. “It’s just one of those shots where I hit it clean, right at the flag.”
His third hole in one on the PGA Tour was his first on the number 8 hole at Colonial since Jim Furyk in 2011.
Scottie Schefflerthe world’s No. 1 player and the colony’s runner-up in last year’s playoff, he had his second consecutive round of 67 and was seventh with 6 under 134. Justyna Rosewhose 11 PGA Tour wins, including Colonial five years ago, finished ninth at 5-under after going 66 without bogeys.
Jordan Spieth, still dealing with sore left wrist, shot 72 both days, missing the cut. The 11th-placed player had three bogeys and a birdie on the last four holes.
Hole-in-ones aside, it was just a steady round for the four-time PGA Tour winner, the Englishman, who finished third in the Wells Fargo Championship earlier this month. He hit 11 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens.
“When I got into trouble off the tee or near the green, I would get up and down. I made a really good par on number 9,” said English. “I had a lot, it felt like 15 or 20 feet, and I didn’t earn much. … But as long as I keep hitting the ball and giving myself chances, something good will happen this weekend.
Coming out of the Hole-in-One, English drove into the right rough number 9 and then into the bunker on the green side before hitting 6 feet and making a par saving putt. His only birdie on the back nine was 12th when he made a 17-foot flight from the edge.
Grillo, a 30-year-old from Argentina, was even in the round before making a bunker-to-greenside birdie spin for 10th 389 yards. It was the first of five birdies from behind, including long putts on both par 3 – from 19 feet in 13th and nearly 38 feet in 16th – before going up to 7 feet in 18th.
“There are many different clubs off the tee. Gotta keep him on the fairway, gotta keep him on the green. I think that’s my strong point in the game,” said Grillo. “I was lucky to make some good putts on the back nine. I’m very happy to finish with a great shot on 18 and a good putt.”