Friday, 16 November, 2018

Champ sets the early pace in Mexico

Weather-Mayakoba PGA Tour: Matt Jones one back in Mexico
Andrew Wong | 10 November, 2018, 14:48

The 30-year-old, in his fourth season on the PGA Tour but still looking for his first win, had seven birdies, one more than his first round of 65, but he also gave away two bogeys.

Matt Kuchar, who shared the 18-hole lead, was among those playing in the afternoon.

Champ, 23, from Sacramento, had an eagle on the 13th hole and eight birdies before making is only bogey on his last hole of the round, No. 9, while carding a 62 that was the low score of the day.

"It's been a little bit of a working vacation", said Kuchar, who brought his family to Play del Carmen.

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What put Kuchar in good shape were the five straight birdies on the front nine, and then he took the lead for the first time with a birdie on No. 11 before his wild adventure on the 12th hole.

Coming off his first PGA Tour victory two weeks ago in the Sanderson Farms Championship in Mississippi, Champ conceded the course doesn't fit his long-hitting style ("it's not a bomber's course", he said), but he was pleased to have good control Friday.

Spieth wasn't able to take advantage of the scoring conditions, balancing four birdies with four bogeys in an even par 71 that left him in a tie for 91st.

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"I knew she had caddied for me before and was friendly with Zach Johnson, and figured she would be good to handle it, and Zach would go easy on her", Kuchar said. A bogey on 10th saw him fall to one-under, before he birdied 11th, 13th, 15th and 17th holes without dropping any more for a 66.

"If you're not driving it well, this course is extremely hard", said the seven-times PGA Tour victor.

Matt Kuchar grabbed a two-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Mayakoba Golf Classic, as Jordan Spieth missed the cut in Mexico.

Seven players are at 11 under, including defending champion Patton Kizzire, past Mayakoba champion Brian Gay and Anirban Lahiri of India, who's played in the last two Presidents Cups, and New Zealand's Danny Lee.

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