Kuchar calls the tune in Mex­ico

Champ gets into the zone, shoots 62

Bangkok Post - - GOLF -

>> MEX­ICO CITY: Matt Kuchar grabbed a two-shot lead at the US PGA Tour’s Mayakoba Clas­sic in Mex­ico on Fri­day, fir­ing his sec­ond straight 64 for a 14-un­der par to­tal of 128.

Kuchar, owner of seven tour ti­tles but seek­ing his first since the 2014 RBC Her­itage, was two strokes clear of Cameron Champ, who fired a nine­un­der par 62 to set an early tar­get on 130.

“Yes­ter­day was kind of a bo­gey-free day and just easy, and ev­ery­thing else to­day was about the same,” he said. “I just had that one chal­leng­ing hole.”

Champ, who won his first PGA Tour ti­tle in his sec­ond start as a tour mem­ber at the San­der­son Farms Cham­pi­onship i n Mis­sis­sippi last month, had eight birdies, an ea­gle and one bo­gey on the El Ca­ma­leon Golf Club Course in Playa del Car­men.

Champ said he never thought about the pos­si­bil­ity of shoot­ing a 59.

“I for­got what par was, to be hon­est,” he said. “I was just flow­ing, I just kind of felt in the zone, re­ally. I was just try­ing to ex­e­cute each shot at a time.”

Although Champ t opped t he leader­board when he walked off the course, Kuchar, who started the day in a three-way tie for the lead with Do­minic Bozzelli and Kramer Hickok, was soon in hot pur­suit.

Kuchar birdied five straight on the front nine and picked up three more birdies com­ing in to off­set his only bo­gey of the day at the par-four 12th, where his tee shot found the bushes be­fore he lim­ited the dam­age with a long bo­gey putt.

Bozzelli lost ground with a fou­run­der-par 67 that left him in a group of seven play­ers shar­ing third place on 131, a group that also in­cluded New Zealand’s Danny Lee and In­dia’s Anir­ban Lahiri.

Hickok carded a 68 to join a group on 132.

Three-time ma­jor win­ner Jor­dan Spi­eth, play­ing his last tour­na­ment of the cal­en­dar year, missed the cut.

Af­ter an even par 71 on Thurs­day he had four birdies and two bo­geys in a two-un­der 69 that wasn’t enough to see him through to the week­end. He missed the cut by two strokes with a two-un­der to­tal of 140.

The seven play­ers at 11-un­der 131 in­cluded de­fend­ing cham­pion Pat­ton Kizzire, past Mayakoba cham­pion Brian Gay and Lahiri of In­dia, who has played in the last two Pres­i­dents Cups. Eigh­teen play­ers were within five shots of the lead.

Rickie Fowler (68) and Tony Finau (65) were at eight-un­der 134, along with their Ry­der Cup cap­tain, Jim Furyk, who had a 65.

Matt Kuchar plays his shot from the 16th tee dur­ing the sec­ond round of the Mayakoba Clas­sic.

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