Rookie Taylor Pendrith leads halfway through PGA Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit
By LARRY LAGE
AP Sports Writer
DETROIT — Taylor Pendrith of Canada shot a 7-under 65 on Friday to take a one-shot lead over Tony Finau into the weekend in the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Pendrith and Finau shared the first-round lead at 8 under and will be in the final group Saturday, pairing a 31-year-old PGA Tour rookie with a 32-year-old veteran coming off his third career victory.
Rookie Lee Hodges (66) was three shots back.
PGA Tour rookie of the year front-runner Cameron Young tied a Detroit Golf Club record with a 63 for a share of fourth place — five shots back — with Russell Henley (65) and Stewart Cink (66).
Rookie Sahith Theegala (67) was another shot back in a pack that includes defending FedEx Cup champion Patrick Cantlay, who bounced back from an opening-round 70 with a 65.
Davis Love III, the 58-year-old U.S. Presidents Cup captain, was in Detroit in part to play and more importantly to get to know players better on and off the course that may represent the country in September at Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina.
Love missed the cut at 5-over 149, but made the most of an opportunity to have dinner with some President Cup candidates and to play two rounds with with Young and Will Zalatoris.
Young and Zalatoris, teammates at Wake Forest and close friends, may be paired together again in two months.
“If they make the team, they’re a natural,” Love said.
Zalatoris, No. 13 in the world ranking, perhaps felt pressure playing with Love because he barely made the cut. He had to birdie his 36th hole to get to 3 under, the cut line, with a pair of lackluster rounds.
If Young does not earn an automatic spot on the American team, he might be a captain’s pick.
“Cameron is trending up,” Love said. “Go back to Jordan Spieth. Nobody heard of him and next thing you know in one year he’s on the Presidents Cup team, and Cam’s headed that way, too.”