American Bryson DeChambeau fired a seven-under-par 64 Friday to seize a one-stroke lead over Britain’s Ian Poulter and South Korean Kim Si-woo at the US PGA Heritage tournament.
DeChambeau, who won his first PGA title at last year’s John Deere Classic, stood on 10-under 132 after 36 holes at Hilton Head, South Carolina, in the traditional return to tour golf after last week’s Masters.
After sharing 38th last week at Augusta National, DeChambeau opened on 68 and followed with another low-scoring round, making birdies on four of the last six holes.
DeChambeau reached the green in two at the par-5 second and holed a 10-foot eagle putt, but never found the fairway in making bogey at the third. He answered with back-to-back birdies on 3-foot putts at the par-5 fifth and par-4 sixth, then added another at the eighth before a lost ball off the ninth tee led to another bogey.
Closing with a flourish, DeChambeau birdied 13, the par-5 15th, 16 and the par-3 17th on a 12-foot putt to grab the lead. After finding a bunker at 18, he sank a testy 12-footer for par to keep the second-round lead.
Kim began on the back nine and birdied 13 from 18 feet, then suffered a triple-bogey at the par-3 14th. He was imposed a two-shot penalty for touching sand with his hand in a bunker while thinking he was on the greenside fringe.
“This might be the first time I played so well with a triple bogey,” Kim said through a translator. “I think that made me play more aggressively so I’m very happy with my round.”
Kim answered with birdies on his next three holes, an eight-footer at 15, a four-footer at 16 and a tap-in at the par-3 17th.
He then opened the front nine, his second nine of the round, with three consecutive birdies — a 25-foot putt at one, a four-footer at two and a bomb from 43 feet at the third.
Kim then birdied the par-5 fifth from three feet and closed on birdie at the ninth, blasting from a greenside bunker off the tee to six feet and making the putt for a 65.
“I had a really good run,” Kim said. “I was happy with how I played.”
Poulter felt much the same after shooting a bogey-free 64 in his sixth consecutive week of golf after winning the Houston Open two weeks ago to qualify for the Masters.
“It’s nice. If you keep bogeys off your card you’re generally going to have a good round. You have to be on your game,” Poulter said.
The Englishman, who will take next week off, began with a birdie at the 10th, added another at 15 and closed his outward nine with back-to-back birdies at 17 and 18. After short birdie putts at the first and fifth he drained a 17-footer for birdie at the par-3 seventh. to join Kim on 133.
Sharing fourth on 134 were South Africa’s Rory Sabbatini and Americans Chesson Hadley, Brandt Snedeker and Luke List. (Agence France-Presse)