Butterfield Bermuda Championship: Alex Noren Takes Lead with Impressive Second Round
By Associated Press | Nov 10, 2023
SOUTHAMPTON, Bermuda – Alex Noren showcased his exceptional golf skills once again as he took the lead in the Butterfield Bermuda Championship after an impressive second round on Friday. Noren started the day with three birdies and continued his stellar performance with two more late in the round, finishing with a 5-under 66 and a two-shot lead heading into the weekend.
Noren’s exceptional play included a crucial putt on the par-4 15th and a birdie on the par-5 17th, setting a tournament record at 15-under 127.
Following closely behind Noren is Ryan Moore, who shot a bogey-free 64, along with Satoshi Kodaira and Ryan Brehm, both carding a 65. The challenging wind conditions at Port Royal added an element of doubt to the competition.
Reflecting on his performance, Noren felt that he played similarly to his outstanding opening round of 61, with the exception of some challenging wedge shots. He mentioned the difficulty of the greens, which had significant slopes and grain, making it trickier to sink putts.
Ryan Moore, a former Ryder Cup player, played a flawless round after struggling to keep the ball on the course the previous day. His improved putting gave him a boost of confidence, realizing that he didn’t need to hit every shot perfectly to score well.
The timing is crucial for Moore, currently ranked 140th in the FedEx Cup standings. With the PGA Tour season coming to an end next week, the top 125 players secure full PGA Tour cards. Moore emphasized the importance of delivering strong performances in these final events.
Ryan Brehm, who started with impressive rounds of 64 and 65, hopes to replicate his success from the Puerto Rico Open in 2022, where he secured his first top 10 finish on the PGA Tour. Another unexpected victory would grant him a spot in the prestigious Kapalua tournament and his first appearance at the Masters.
Camilo Villegas, a runner-up in last week’s tournament in Mexico, continued his strong form with a 63, placing him three shots behind the leader. Villegas climbed from 223rd to 147th in the rankings, giving him a chance to secure conditional status for next year.
Stewart Cink, the former British Open champion, turned 50 this year and has been competing on the PGA Tour Champions. He shot a solid 67, placing him among the group at 11-under 131.
Adam Scott, who played in the morning, also shot a 67, putting him within five shots of the lead. NCAA champion Fred Biondi had an impressive round of 64, matching Scott’s score.
Alex Noren remained composed despite following three consecutive birdies with 11 straight pars. Reflecting on his mindset, Noren emphasized the importance of staying focused and trusting his instincts, rather than overthinking his shots.
The Butterfield Bermuda Championship promises an exciting weekend of golf as Alex Noren leads the field with his exceptional performance. With strong contenders close behind, the final rounds are sure to provide thrilling moments for players and fans alike.