Heading into the Honda Classic finale, Rory McIlroy is two clear of Harris English who, Doug Ferguson writes, had the audacity to make every cut in 2012 without having played the Nationwide Tour.
English is showing that his win last summer on the Nationwide Tour was not an accident. He breezed through Q-school in December and has yet to miss a cut all year, though he has not finished better than a tie for 15th in the Phoenix Open.
Even so, he is polished and looks capable of winning, even against a player whom everyone is ready to crown as No. 1. English is among them, smiling when asked about playing a 22-year-old on the verge of going atop the world ranking.
“Rory is awesome,” English said. “I haven’t had a chance to meet him yet, but I’ve definitely watched him play the last couple of years. He’s got a great game and he deserves. I think he’s the best player in the world right now, hands down, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. He’s very impressive.”
Randall Mell has a few notes about the leaders, including another low Q-School grad (Brian Harman) in the top 5 and Rory's shaky "when-leading-after-54" track record.
The third round highlights:
Meanwhile, another Q-School grad got the Sunday NY Times Treatment as Karen Crouse profiles non-Nationwide Tour graduate and PGA Tour rookie John Huh. A few new details emerged about this amazing story who, in an ideal world, would be languishing in Panama right now instead of taking up the spot of some undeserving veteran.
As a teenager, Huh was a regular at Hansen Dam Golf Course, a public facility in the San Fernando Valley where his doggedness set him apart.
“He hit the ball good,” said Zeke Salas, the head professional, “but it wasn’t anything where you thought, ‘Wow, this kid’s going to be a star.’ I had two girls who practiced there who I thought would go on to play professional before him. His work ethic is mostly what I noticed.”
Huh did not compete in many American Junior Golf Association events, in part, he said, because his family did not have the money for entry fees and travel. He chose not to be part of his high school team as a senior so he could focus on his academics. Huh was offered a scholarship to play for Cal State Northridge but had to go to summer school to complete two core classes to be eligible.
He practiced with the Northridge team while the N.C.A.A. reviewed his case. After his appeal was denied, Huh, then 18, turned pro. He returned to South Korea, where he had lived with his family as a child before moving back to the United States in middle school, and polished his game on the Korean tour.