Gary Woodland shot a 6-under 67 on Friday and will take a three-shot lead into the weekend at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Woodland got off to a slow start on Friday with a pair of bogeys offset by two birdies to turn at level-par 36. The Kansas native picked up the pace on the back nine, though – closing with six birdies over his final eight holes, including five straight gains on Nos. 11-15.
“I have driven the golf ball very well, controlled. The wind today I thought was a little tougher than yesterday, but I’ve controlled the ball great into the greens,” said Woodland, who already owns three top-10 finishes in just four starts this season.
“I think I hit 16 greens today which was nice. Big deal just staying patient on the greens.
“It’s very tough putting with the crosswinds and didn’t see anything go in early, but nice to see the chip go in on 11 and kind of got me going, propelled me for the rest of the round.”
A group of three players were deadlocked at 9-under par, including Bryson DeChambeau, who carded a bogey-free round of 5-under 68.
“It was an interesting day. The wind was blowing a lot harder today and quite honestly, I didn’t think I was going to make as many putts as I did yesterday but I did, which was nice,” said DeChambeau, who’s won three times in his last five starts. “The saves on 10, 11 and 14 were huge today, and I was able to keep a good round going because of it.”
Rory McIlroy (68) and Kevin Tway (71) were the others in the T2 group.
Alone in fifth was Marc Leishman, who overcame a 3-over par start (through six holes), and finished his final 10 holes with six birdies en route to a 69 to reach 8-under par.
Xander Schauffele shot a co-low round 67 to reach 7 under, and move into a tie for sixth alongside Cameron Champ (68) and Justin Thomas (72).
“Bogey-free is always nice. The course — or the conditions are pretty windy and definitely helped that the wind was the same as yesterday,” said Schauffele, who won in his last official PGA Tour start (at the WGC-HSBC Champions).
“So I got a little more comfortable today and the score showed it.”
Patton Kizzire and Jason Day posted matching 71s and rounded out the top 10 at 6 under, alongside Ian Poulter (69).
SENTRY TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
TOP 5 LEADERS: ROUND TWO
1. Gary Woodland -12 (-6)
2. Bryson DeChambeau -9 (-5)
2. Rory McIlroy -9 (-5)
2. Kevin Tway -9 (-2)
5. Marc Leishman -8 (-3)
STAT LEADERS: ROUND TWO
Driving: Cameron Champ – 312.2 yards
Fairways: Brandt Snedeker, Satoshi Kodaira – 28/33, 93.3%
Greens: Rory McIlroy – 33/36, 94.4%
Putting: Bryson DeChambeau – 1.600
Scoring: Gary Woodland – 16 birdies
VIDEO: ROUND-TWO HIGHLIGHTS
“I’m hitting the Ping driver right now. I’ve done a lot of testing with that, had a bunch of drivers sent in. The Wilson driver’s been great distance-wise. It’s equally as distance, but I’m just hitting this one really straight right now, so that’s been very nice for me. Tony Finau is the one that’s got me. He was bragging about it and started hitting it and it’s been very straight.L.”
– Gary Woodland
SCORES & STATS