By JOHN NICHOLSON Writer AP Sports
LA QUINTA – Patrick Cantlay battled through fierce headwinds on Friday for a one-shot lead over the weekend at The American Express in his bid to win his third run in four starts.
Tied for a first-round lead with Lee Hodges after winning 10 under 62 at La Quinta Country Club, Cantlay shot 68 on PGA West’s Nicklaus Tournament Course to reach 14 under 130.
“I really played really well today and didn’t do anything,” Cantlay said. “The greens have a bit of a bang and it’s difficult to hit the ball. But I scrolled it really well and I scrolled it the way I wanted, I just didn’t get anything to go in.”
Tom Hoge is second to 66 on PGA West Stadium.
“I feel really lucky that we got through 17 holes without the wind coming in,” Hoge said. “Only our last hole there it emerged.”
Joseph Bramlett, playing in the last group on the 10th tee at La Quinta, made the last two holes in high winds to score 67 for third in a five-man tie in 12th with ratio 12 below.
“We guessed nine points overall and some of us guessed right and a few of us guessed wrong,” Bramlett said. “It’s just a kind of golf.”
Will Zalatoris hit his last seven holes on a Nicklaus layout for 61 to join Cameron Young (68), Lanto Griffin (65) and Greyson Sigg (67) in bottom 12. Young played at Nicklaus and Griffin and Sigg at the Stadium.
Fourth-placed Cantlay won the BMW Championship and Tour Championship in his last two starts last year for the FedEx Cup, then opened this year in fourth place – 26th under. – two weeks ago in Hawaii during the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Last year in the desert, the 29-year-old former Servite High and UCLA player closed with a Stadium record 61 to complete a shot behind winner Si Woo Kim. Cantlay will be playing at the stadium for the final two days, with more wind than expected on Saturday.
“It’s a golf course that’s right for my game,” Cantlay said. “We’ll see how it plays out tomorrow with increased winds. … Controlling your golf ball will be a premium thing tomorrow and having your golf ball in the right position will really be the key to scoring well. ”
Hoge will play tree-lined La Quinta on Saturday.
“I feel better playing La Quinta,” Hoge said. “Over there the trees are a little more protected, the golf course is a little shorter. You can play a little more conservatively and just take advantage of it and start from there. “
Zalatoris finished with a birdie from the wrong fairway at par-4. Rookie of the Year on the PGA Tour is starting the first warm-up of the year.
“I just gave myself a chance,” said Zalatoris. “I hit very close and got a couple of 20, 30 feet to keep the round going and obviously, getting the birdie over 9 from the wrong fairway was a icing on the cake.”
He didn’t care about the wind blowing when he was finished.
“I live in Texas, so I’m used to that,” says Zalatoris. “Really, playing golf in the past few days without much wind is a bit of a strange thing for me, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s challenge.”
Hodges is still in 10th place under 72 years old on the Nicklaus Tournament Course.
Jon Rahm ranked first 8 years after 70 years old at Nicklaus layout. He won the tournament in 2018.
Kim is four years younger in her title defense after 68 at Nicklaus.
Tournament host Phil Mickelson was 155th in a 156-man field with 7 more. He fired a 73 at Nicklaus after opening with a 78 at La Quinta.
https://www.sbsun.com/2022/01/21/patrick-cantlay-navigates-wind-for-1-stroke-lead-at-la-quinta/ Patrick Cantlay navigates the wind to lead a shot at La Quinta – San Bernardino Sun