PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – No, Pat Perez isn’t in the Honda Classic field this week, though he’s the talk of golf here and elsewhere, with his candid take on Tiger Woods’ comeback being analyzed more than any shot hit at PGA National. Here are Fore Things at the Champion Course that are noteworthy:
1. Rickie Fowler says it’s time to win. With a 4-under 66 Friday, Fowler’s in contention to win his sixth worldwide title, his first since winning in Abu Dhabi 13 months ago. He’s one off the lead. “I feel like it’s time for me to start finishing off some more events when I’m in this position,” he said.
2. Ryan Palmer’s family struggle became part of his second-round story. With a 65 taking him into a tie for the second-round lead with rookie Wesley Bryan, Palmer shared why he left the Tour in the fall. His wife, Jennifer, is battling breast cancer, but she’s responding well after surgery, chemotherapy and now radiation treatments.
3. Shawn Stefani could moonlight as an underwear model. Stefani stripped down to his skivvies at the sixth hole to hit an escape shot and nearly saved par. “I was wearing Calvin Kleins,” he said. Alas, the bogey didn’t help him make the cut.
4. Brendan Steele’s resilience is impressive. After rinsing three balls in the water at the 14th Thursday and another at the 15th, Steele came back Friday and made the cut. After making quintuple-bogey 9 at the 14th and a double-bogey 5 at the 15th, he rebounded Friday to go birdie-par there and shoot 65, eight shots better than his opening round.