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Justin Suh’s patience pays off with second-round lead

Justin Suh’s patience pays off with second-round lead

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Patience means a lot in professional golf, both on and off the course. Just ask Justin Suh.

Suh was part of a young Fab Four of college stars who all turned pro around the same time in 2019. While three of them — Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland and Matthew Wolff — won on the PGA Tour early in their careers, Suh struggled with a wrist injury and didn’t earn his PGA Tour card until last fall when he won the Korn Ferry Tour Championship.

Suh is making up for the lost time.

He fired a 6-under 64 Friday to take the 36-hole lead at the Honda Classic at PGA National. Suh leads Chris Kirk by a shot at 10-under 130 after Friday’s morning wave was completed.

“The putter got hot,” said Suh, who made 158 feet worth of putts Friday, including 76 feet during four consecutive birdies in the middle of his round. “It was fun to see the putts go in, even though I wasn’t trying to make them at 9 and 10. Was just trying to get them close.”

The 25-year-old Suh appears closer to winning on the PGA Tour to join his Fab Four brethren. Suh insists he remained focused on his career and didn’t worry about their fast starts.

“I never really let it get to me,” Suh said. “Obviously, they had immediate success, and it was cool watching them play so great. But for me, I knew I needed to improve. I just kept my head down and worked on my game.”

Suh also showed his patience on his final hole Friday, the par-5 18th at The Champion. He had 267 yards to the hole on his second shot — an ideal 3-wood distance, he said — but Suh chose to play conservatively.

“It was a perfect 3-wood,” Suk said, “but you see the water on the right.”

Suh instead laid up with an 8-iron to 116 yards, then hit a wedge to 8 feet. He made the putt to move to 10-under and take his first lead on the PGA Tour.

Thirty minutes earlier, Kirk faced a 12-foot birdie putt on the same green to tie the Honda Classic scoring record of 61 shared by Matt Jones (2021) and Brian Harmon (2012). Kirk missed but said he had no idea it was to tie the course record.

“No, I wanted to birdie the last three to shoot 59,” Kirk said with a grin. “It was a bummer not to make it. I felt like I deserved the birdie at 18 after hitting such a great wedge, but I misread the putt. I definitely won’t let that put a damper on a really good day.”

Another youngster, 23-year-old Ryan Gerard, of Jupiter, is two shots back in third place after a 63. Gerard, who made it…


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