Schauffele's birdie blitz gives him lead in Las Vegas

Paola Ditto
Октября 17, 2020

Trailing Schauffele was overnight leader Tyrrell Hatton of England, who finished birdie-birdie to cap a round of four-under 68 to sit 11-under 133 heading into the weekend with American Russell Henley one shot further adrift. Some of those holes you're not really trying to birdie them, you're kind of just trying to leave yourself an uphill 35-footer and fortunately I made a couple of them. He chipped in from 20 feet.

But it would be Schauffele, 26, the one who became the great figure of the day upon completing the Shadow Creek Golf Course, from Las Vegas (Nevada), with a ideal performance by eight birdies, including six in a row he achieved from the thirteenth hole. The pace of play slowed down a lot. Schauffele made a 15-footer at the seventh to extend his lead, before converting a 10-footer to save par on his final hole. "It was a nice stretch". "Still struggling a little bit with jetlag".

"I got off to a hot start and kind of slowed down. I am upset I didn't make more birdies, but pleased I didn't make any bogeys".

The CJ Cup was switched to Las Vegas from South Korea this year because of travel restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schauffele, a four-time victor on the PGA Tour, moved into 14 under on the back of a bogey-free second round in Nevada on Friday. He rallied to close with a pair of birdies for a 68.

"I guess I played my way somewhat back into it", he said before turning to look at the scores on a nearby monitor. "I concentrated a little more today". "You can go insane low out here. If you don't have control of your ball, as firm as the greens are, you can make a lot of bogeys, too".

Xander Schauffele produced an impressive birdie run to open up a three-shot lead at the halfway stage of The CJ Cup in Las Vegas.

After winning the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last week, Hatton hopped on a plane and made his way over to the States to compete in the first of back-to-back no cut events on the PGA Tour.

On the par-three 13th, he landed his 212-yard tee shot just two feet from the hole. He made a 10-foot birdie putt at the par-5 fourth but stumbled with a bogey at the par-4 sixth before answering with a an eight-foot birdie putt at the par-3 eighth to seize the outright lead at 7-under and closed with a par.

That's when he hit the brakes, and so did the tournament.

Koepka, who was 6 under through 13 holes, had to settle for a 68.

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