Kuchar calls the tune in Mexico
Champ gets into the zone, shoots 62
>> 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.