The Honda Classic Halfway Hut: Daniel Berger leads by the three at PGA National

News, stats, quotes and social after 36 holes in Florida where the local boy is seeking a fifth PGA Tour title.

For just the second time in his PGA Tour career Daniel Berger has opened an event with two rounds of 65 to grab a three shot 36 hole lead at the Honda Classic on 10-under 130.

Eating breakfast in his own kitchen is clearly working a treat this week.

The Jupiter resident lives 15 minutes from the Champion Course at PGA National and on Saturday morning he can enjoy a lie in.

He leads the field by three and is eyeing a fifth PGA Tour title, a third inside two years, and an improvement on the play off loss in 2015 that still counts as his best tournament finish.

"I'm just happy to be out playing golf, enjoying it and playing a place that I love," he said after separating himself from the pack. "I've said it a million times, but sleeping in my own bed is an amazing feeling."

On a course that can destroy a card in a matter of minutes, Berger won't be counting his chickens, but the names of the chasers will not strike fear into him.

Chris Kirk (65-68) and Kurt Kitayama (64-69) share second on 7-under. Kirk is a four-time PGA Tour winner but he hasn't tasted victory since 2015, while Kitayama is looking to add a first win Stateside after two victories on the DP World Tour.

Mark Hubbard (70-64) and Adam Svensson (69-65) are in a tie for fourth a further shot in arrears and are both looking for a first win on the first tier.

Six others sit inside the top 10, but of them only John Huh and Shane Lowry are winners at this level.

It's a golden opportunity for Berger to be crowned the hometown hero.

Stats

All 15 winners of the Honda Classic at PGA National were all top 10 after 36 holes and four were leading at this stage (but only one leading on his own).

Berger's three shot advantage at this stage is something of an oddity. From the first edition here in 2007 to 2020 there were 20 halfway leaders and all of them shared top spot or were just one shot clear. Then last year Aaron Wise burst three ahead of the field and now Berger has emulated him.

This is the third halfway lead of Berger's career. The first was also a three shot gap back to the field and he converted the win (at the 2016 St Jude Classic). A few weeks later he slipped back to fifth in the Travelers Championship having been tied at the top.

The last four winners here (Justin Thomas 2018, Keith Mitchell 2019, Sungjae Im 2020 and Matt Jones in 2021) all led the Strokes Gained Tee to Green rankings.

The current ranking in that category for the leaders are: Berger 3rd, Kirk 9th, Kitayama 2nd, Hubbard 37th, Svensson 1st.

Quotes

Daniel Berger - leading on 10-under

"Every tournament I play in I want to win. But it would be especially nice to win here having so many friends and family here with me this week. But you just can't focus on that, just got to take it a shot at a time and stay patient because it is such a challenging golf course."

Chris Kirk - tied second on 7-under

"It's definitely a comfort factor for me playing Bermuda. It's what I've had the most success on for sure and the faster the better it seems like. I tend to struggle with the greens that are a little bit slower where I feel like I got to hit at it some. If I know the greens are real quick and I can just kind of let it go, that seems to be when I hit my best putts and I seem to be pretty decent at reading Bermuda greens, so it's a combination of a number of things, but yeah, it's what I'm most comfortable on."

Kurt Kitayama - tied second on 7-under

"Just kind of want to stick to the game plan and try and hit as many greens as possible, really. With this course being this hard as it is, don't necessarily need to go super low, so I think just sticking to being patient is going to be key."

Mark Hubbard - tied fourth on 6-under

"This course is crazy, there's so much trouble, anything can happen on any given hole, so you really cannot get ahead of yourself. I just got to keep trying to give myself as many birdie looks as I can and when I do get in trouble, like I did on 11 today, don't be afraid to take my medicine, wedge it out and get it up-and-down."

Adam Svensson - tied fourth on 6-under

"I won Q-School by seven here and then I won a college event here as well. So there's a lot of good memories … I just feel like I play good in the wind for some reason. I'm able to control the golf ball, I like to hit it against the wind, hit it low and kind of create shots where, if there's no wind, it's more of just hitting the shot. So, yeah, just love playing in the wind."

Social

Tidy golf from Svensson:

Par saver:

Firing at pins:

Interesting ...

READ MORE: Phil Mickelson's many misdemeanours: The top seven episodes when he courted controversy

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