DALLAS – Contending for the second time in as many starts, Aaron Wise hopes to put some recently-learned lessons to good use at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
The former NCAA individual champion took Jason Day down to the wire two weeks ago at the Wells Fargo Championship, ultimately tying for second to notch a career-best finish. Wise is at it again this week at Trinity Forest Golf Club, where rounds of 65-63 have him to 14 under and just one shot behind Marc Leishman, with whom he’ll play in Saturday’s final group.
“It was tough at Quail because I knew there were some big names up there and I never had been in that situation,” Wise said. “Knowing that I’ve been there and played well, it gives me a ton of confidence going into tomorrow.”
Despite shooting 6 under in his opener, Wise faced a nine-shot deficit before he even started his afternoon round amid steamy and breezy conditions. But he managed to make it around an unconventional layout without dropping a shot, carding six birdies to go along with an eagle on the par-5 14th.
Wise briefly ditched his usual Odyssey putter during the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, but after missing the cut alongside Brian Gay he switched back. That decision proved to be the right one, as Wise putted his way to a career week at Quail Hollow and now sits fifth among the field in strokes gained: putting at the halfway point in Dallas.
“Maybe I scared this one into thinking it’s going to lose the job,” Wise said. “It’s helped. I putted great today. I felt like I left a few out there yesterday, so it was great to see some of the longer ones drop.”