Rookie Thompson pounces on three eagles to lead the Ram in the PGA American Express

US PGA Tour rookie Davis Thompson grabbed three eagles on Friday with an eight-under-par 64 that kept him clear of Spain’s John Ramm at the American PGA Tour’s American Express in California.

After scoring back-to-back Eagles’ first-round par 62, Thompson matched the Eagles’ American tour record by paring 36 in the tournament as he added three more on the Nicklaus Championship Course, one of three used for the event in La Quinta, California.

“I just got some good numbers in the boys and I was able to make my shots,” said the 23-year-old from the Korn Ferry Development Tour, who is seeking his first US PGA Tour title.

“It did drop some batters. So it was good to make some Eagles.”

The first came on the 15th, as he rolled a 20-foot eagle putt.

After a birdie of 15, he slowed slightly with bogey on the 16th and first, but bounced back with a birdie in the third followed by an eagle in the fourth, hitting a five-iron to about 15 feet and making a putt.

He added birdies in the fifth and sixth, and in the seventh, he hit a “really good iron six and made, like, a 20-foot putt” to cover a round that saw him catch seven strokes in the space of five holes.

“Everything is kind of clicking in the last couple of days of play and we’re looking forward to trying to keep it going tomorrow,” said Thompson.

Saturday will be played on the course course, which will also host the final after making the 54-hole cut.

– Wathiq Ram –

World number four Ram, who was crowned champion in the California desert in 2018, impressed with Thompson’s eagle tally.

“Five Eagles in two rounds on two different courses is impressive,” said Ram. “It’s good to play.”

Ram said he was “feeling good” having posted eight birdies without a bogey in his eight-under 64 in the Nicklaus course at an overall average of 16 without par of 128.

“A lot of confidence,” said Ram, who let himself into a bunch of short putts with a sharp wedge game.

A perfectionist, Ram said he couldn’t call it the best golf “because I expect too much of myself.

“The golf tours are still pretty cool,” added Ram, who opened 2023 with a win at the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii two weeks ago.

The Spaniard was hit three times against a group of five players sharing third place for 13-under at 131.

South Korean Kim Joo-hyung had an eagle and eight birdies in a 10-under 62 in Nicklaus’ run to reach 13. Veteran Australian Jason Day had an eagle and a six birdie in the eight-under 64 on the outfield as South Koreans M Sung-jae and JT Poston got 66 and Tyler Duncan signed for 67.

World number two Scotty Scheffler, who once again has a shot at edging Rory McIlroy for the world rankings lead this week, went five-under-65 at Nicklaus Racecourse to finish seventh in 133rd.

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