3M Open: Scott Piercy puts on another putting display to seize control heading into weekend
Piercy banged in 115 feet of putts to card a second-round 64 and seize a three-shot lead over Emiliano Grillo.
BLAINE, Minnesota — One great round does not win a tournament. Neither does two, but a start like Scott Piercy is off to certainly increases the odds of victory.
Piercy backed up his prolific putting display Thursday with another on Friday, banging in more than 115 feet of putts to card a second-round 64 and seize a three-shot lead over Emiliano Grillo heading into the weekend at the 3M Open in Blaine.
Not bad for a 43-year-old who entered the week without a top-10 finish to his name this season.
“Obviously it feels great. It’s been a little bit since I’ve played like I feel like I should play. To kind of prove it to myself again, I know it’s in there, it’s just like, okay, how do we get it out of me?” Piercy said. “There’s a lot of business to take care of this weekend, but to come out the first two days and do what I did gives me a lot of confidence going into the weekend.”
A host of recent changes may have contributed to his resurgence in Minnesota — from a new caddie and swing coach to a new putter.
The latter is the star of Piercy’s first two days. While he’s certainly not hitting the ball poorly, he’s rolling the rock better than everyone else in the field. Piercy has gained eight and a half strokes putting through two days, which ranks No. 1.
Piercy said the new flatstick got him a little further away from the ball and a little more on the balls of his feet, which he believes helps with stability.
“I think the squareness of the putter kind of helps me line it up,” he said. “For some reason I feel like it’s either — it’s a little hotter roll than my old one because I have a tendency to leave stuff short, but I’m getting a lot of balls to the hole so they have a chance to go in.”
And they are.
Piercy is five shots clear of Callum Tarren, who’s in solo third, and six up on a host of players tied for fourth. Included in that group are marquee names such as Tony Finau, past Minnesota State Am champion Tom Hoge of Fargo and Sungjae Im. Im entered Friday tied with Piercy for the lead at 6 under and reached 9 under through 12 holes Friday before giving two back on the way home.
Finau continued to play solid golf. The pre-tournament favorite carded a bogey on his first hole Thursday, and hasn’t logged a square since.
“The game feels like it’s in a good spot. I scored it really nicely yesterday, and I hit it really nicely today,” Finau said. “Overall it’s been a solid couple days.”
But if he wants to make up the requisite ground to catch Piercy, he’ll likely need a round like the one Tarren put together on Friday. He shot an 8-under 63 to move himself from flirting with the cut line to contending for victory.
“I drove it super straight in the fairways, long. Approaches, I hit every green today, so I had so many chances,” Tarren said. “I actually missed probably four or five inside 10 feet, so it could have been ridiculous (scoring).”
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