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Harold Varner's Friday 66 at Colonial was even more impressive considering his disastrous opening hole

June 12, 2020

At first glance, Harold Varner III shooting a second-round 66 at the Charles Schwab Challenge might not seem all that newsworthy. After all, the 29-year-old was playing Colonial Country Club in ideal scoring conditions less than 24 hours after posting an opening 63 to grab a share of the lead. But he could have shot another 63 on Friday if he hadn't spotted the field three strokes on his first hole.

Varner teed off on No. 10 and started his round with something you don't usually see on PGA Tour Shot Tracker: "269 yards to bridge." A picture of Varner's predicament wasn't any prettier:

Ron Jenkins

Nor was his eventual score on his opening hole. After taking a penalty drop, Varner found a greenside bunker with his approach and then the rough with his fourth. By the time he holed out, he had posted a triple-bogey on the short par 4. But it didn't faze one of the most positive-thinking players on tour.

"Obviously not the start I wanted, but it's just a part of golf," Varner told reporters after his round. "If I would have tripled the last, it would have added up to the same."

Instead, Varner birdied his last hole to shoot seven under following the triple and take sole possession of the lead following the morning wave. In fact, he birdied five of his last six holes to finish the first two days at 11 under—the best 36-hole position in relation to par of his PGA Tour career.

"Just gave myself so many looks," Varner said, explaining his bounceback. "I tripled hole 10, and then on 12 I had like a three-footer for birdie, so you're starting to just get a lot of momentum. Even after a triple, you just can't live in the past. It's not a great place to be and it's hard to learn from there."

Varner will find himself in a much better place, at or near the top of the leader board, heading into the weekend. Even if that weekend will be much quieter than usual.

"I wish there was some fans tomorrow," Varner said. "I like that a lot."

Perhaps. But no matter the circumstances, he'd like picking up a first PGA Tour title even more.