Russell Knox hit more greens in regulation than Jordan Spieth in the opening round, yet took 13 shots more than the leader. A triple-bogey seven at the last did the most damage for the Scot. He ran up the same score at the 11th in his second round and wanted to “jump into the lake” at the side of the green there, writes Martin Dempster.
Take away those two bad holes and the 30-year-old would have been around for the weekend on his debut. Instead, rounds of 79 and 73 left him heading home early but yearning to be back here in 12 months’ time. “I played a lot of decent stuff over the two days,” reflected Knox, who was finishing as Sandy Lyle reached the turn in his second round. “I actually played much worse today but scored six shots better. The mistakes that cost me my two sevens are ones I don’t normally make which is very disappointing.”
He’d driven up Magnolia Lane in the morning still feeling he could make the cut despite dropping four shots over the last two holes on Thursday. “I was in big trouble cut-wise, but I knew I was capable of getting below par. I played a nice nine to be under par [thanks to a birdie at the second] to give myself a chance. And, if I had hit the fairway at 11, I would have had a great chance.”
Three birdies in a row from the 13th were rewarding but probably only rubbed salt into his wounds. “I do feel I can play really decent here, I really do,” he insisted. Flying high in the FedEx Cup, he’s almost guaranteed his return already next year.
Sandy Lyle also bowed out after two rounds, having followed his opening 76 with an 81, which included a triple-bogey 7 at the ninth. There, the 1988 winner took three attempts to get on to the green with a chip from just short of the putting surface.
He also bemoaned poor putting as his 35th appearance in the event ended prematurely.