Ben Martin Sets Zurich Classic Record Through 36 Holes
AVONDALE – Ben Martin, the 26-year old PGA pro from South Carolina who was an Honorable Mention All American at Clemson, cites making it to the finals in the 2009 US Amateur Championship and playing in the 2010 Masters as his biggest thrills in golf. He is on the verge of having to rewrite his TOUR bio page.
After setting the course record at TPC Louisiana by two strokes by firing a 10-under par 62, Martin set another record today with the course’s lowest 36-hole score after firing a second round 67 Friday.
The turning point came on how Martin, who has never won a PGA TOUR event, handled holes 17 and 18. He started his round on the back nine and bogied 17 beforing ending up in the hazard on 18. After taking a drop by the tee, Martin suffered a double bogey, finishing with a 35 through nine holes. He had another smoking hot round going with birdie, eagle, par, birdie on his first four holes.
Instead of falling apart, Martin heated up again, posting a 32 on the back nine to carry a three-shot lead over Andrew Svoboda into the weekend.
“My caddy Alex and I were talking down the first fairway (his 10th hole of the day). I was like, ‘you know, yesterday I felt like I really stayed in the moment on every shot. I wasn’t worried about what had happened previously or what was coming up. Just try do that again on this nine.’ Executed most every shot, just like I wanted to on the last nine holes and I shot 4-under. Only two hiccups were a couple of three putts on 18 and 2, and other than that I’m extremely pleased.”
This climb to where he is at the Zurich has not been an easy one for Martin. At one stretch this year, he missed seven out of eight cuts. For the year he has made just five cuts out of 14 events. His best finish has been third place twice, the Puerto Rico Open and last week’s RBC Heritage. His faith has carried him through a rough patch.
“What has helped me is a scripture written in my yardage book from Galations 6, and it kind of talks about basing your performance on how you’re working and not worrying about what anybody else is doing. So I’ve been reading that kind of constantly throughout the round. It’s helping me just kind of not look up at the leaderboard and just say, ‘hey, I’m going to go do what I’ve got to do and put in the work and add them up at the end’.”
This weekend can change this young player’s life forever. New Orleans has a way of doing that as a historic stop on the PGA Tour.
Top Ten After Second Round
1 – Ben Martin 62-67 129
2 – Andrew Svoboda 64-68 132
3 – Seung-Yul Noh 65-68 133
3 – Robert Streb 67-66 133
5 – Erik Compton 66-68 134
5 – Peter Hanson – 65-69 134
4 – Robert Streb – 67-
7 – Charley Hoffman – 68-67 135
7 – Jeff Overton 67-68 135
7 – Keegan Bradley 69-66 135
10 – J.B.Holmes 71-65 136
10 – Will Wilcox 68-68 136
David Duvall – 68-69 137 T-12
Retief Goosenn 72-65 137 T-12
Vijay Singh 70-71 141 T-47
Mark Calcavecchia 71-70 141 T-47
David Toms – 73-68 141 T-47
Andrew Loupe – 71-70 141 T-47
Geoff Ogilvy – 72-70 142 T-67
Padraig Harrington – 70-72 142 T-67
Ernie Els – 72-71 143 Missed Cut
Billy Horschel – 74-70 144 Missed Cut
Ken Looper – 71-73 144 Missed Cut
Ben Curtis – 70-74 144 Missed Cut
Rich Beem – 72-72 144 Missed Cut
Mike Weir – 74-71 145 Missed Cut
Trevor Immelman – 74- 72 146 Missed Cut
Rickie Fowler – 75-72 147 Missed Cut
Patrick Reed- 74-76 150 Missed Cut
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