Last year’s winner, Jim Herman, was one of the top feel-good sports stories of 2016. The former club pro was struggling (and often failing) to keep his Tour card, but managed to fire a 15-under score of 273 for his first big-league victory, beating Henrik Stenson by one stroke. Herman had to choke back the tears when he was interviewed afterwards. “I never thought it was possible,” he cried.
It would have been too much to ask for him to defend his title. The +10000 long shot scored 74 in the first round – well behind the first round leader Rickie Fowler. The California-native got off to a good start on Thursday, shooting eight birdies in a bogie-free 64, giving him a one-shot lead over Sung Kang (+400).
Fowler couldn’t celebrate too much. In Day 2, Sung Kang fired back, shooting for a 9-under 63. He made three birdies on his opening nine before he poured it on, getting birdies in No. 1, 2, and 4, making a par save at the fifth, and completing the eighth with a 30-foot eagle. He now has a seven-shot lead. He’s gone from a +400 second-place bet on the Live betting board to a +150 tournament favourite. Fowler has shuffled back from a +250 favourite to a +300 second-favourite. We’ll see how Fowler responds to Kang. Fowler has just started his second-round.
*Odds as of March 31, 2017