DeChambeau surges to halfway lead as McDowell makes cut

24-year-old American cards 64 to lead by one from Poulter and Si Woo Kim

Graeme McDowell  plays his tee shot on the eighth hole during the second round of the  RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Photograph: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Graeme McDowell plays his tee shot on the eighth hole during the second round of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Photograph: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

 

Bryson DeChambeau birdied four of his final six holes to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the RBC Heritage in South Carolina on Friday, a career-best seven-under 64 moving him ahead of Ian Poulter (64) and Si Woo Kim (65).

After an eagle, two bogeys and three birdies on the front nine, American DeChambeau picked up shots at the 13th, 15th, 16th and 17th holes to leapfrog above Poulter and Kim.

He closed by saving par on the last despite finding a greenside bunker with his approach to end the day at 10-under 132 at the Harbour Town course on Hilton Head Island, where he began his pro career two years ago.

“Obviously my iron play is incredible, and when I get going I can get hot,” DeChambeau told reporters. “But this course just fits my eye. The shaping of the holes, and just a couple of the doglegs, I’m able to shape shots.”

DeChambeau, 24, earned his first PGA Tour win at the John Deere Classic last July and was runner-up to Rory McIlroy at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March. He tied for 38th at last week’s US Masters.

“I know my game is good enough to be with the elites in the game,” DeChambeau added.

“I’m not there yet. I know that. But I certainly am moving in the right direction, figuring a lot of great things out that’s helping me on the golf course.”

Overnight leader Rory Sabbatini (70) of South Africa, former FedExCup champion Brandt Snedeker (64) and fellow Americans Chesson Hadley (68) and Luke List (64) were tied for fourth at eight-under 134.

Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, the 2013 champion, fought back from his opening 73 to post a two-under 69 and make the cut on the mark of level par.

Poulter, who won at Houston earlier this month, went out with the early starters and made seven birdies in a bogey-free trip around the course.

The world number 31, playing a sixth PGA Tour event in as many weeks, said he was feeling more upbeat than he was a year ago when he entered the final round at Harbour Town three shots off the lead before a 73 left him in a share of 11th place.

“Confidence is definitely there from a perspective of feeling like I can be more aggressive right now,” Poulter said.

“The [Houston] win helps a lot. I can free myself up in my mind. I can start attacking pins and just play free golf. And when you’re in that position, sometimes the game feels easy when sometimes it isn’t.”

Korean Kim started on the back nine and after a birdie at his fourth hole, stumbled with a triple-bogey at the par-three 14th after he sent his tee shot into a greenside bunker and was assessed a penalty stroke for touching the sand with his hand.

However, the two-time PGA Tour winner responded immediately with three consecutive birdies and added another five on his final nine holes, including at the last.

“This might be the first time I played so well with a triple bogey,” Kim said. “I have a great feel around the greens and I feel really confident around the greens.”

World number one Dustin Johnson, fresh off a 10th-place finish at the Masters, was six shots off the pace after mixing three birdies with a bogey for a two-under 69 and 138 total.

SCOREBOARD (USA unless stated, par 71)

132 Bryson DeChambeau 68 64

133 Ian Poulter (Eng) 69 64, Si Woo Kim (Kor) 68 65

134 Luke List 70 64, Rory Sabbatini (Rsa) 64 70, Chesson Hadley 66 68, Brandt Snedeker 70 64

135 Danny Lee (Nzl) 69 66, Bill Haas 69 66, Cheng-Tsung Pan (Tai) 70 65, Billy Horschel 66 69, Charles Howell III 68 67

136 Satoshi Kodaira (Jpn) 73 63, Cameron Smith (Aus) 68 68, Whee Kim (Kor) 68 68, Xander Schauffele 68 68, Martin Laird (Sco) 67 69, Matt Kuchar 66 70, Scott Piercy 71 65, Brice Garnett 68 68

137 Brian Stuard 69 68, Andrew Landry 69 68, Kevin Kisner 69 68, Webb Simpson 69 68, Tom Hoge 70 67

138 Peter Malnati 68 70, Dustin Johnson 69 69, Emiliano Grillo (Arg) 72 66, Ted Potter, Jr. 72 66, Ryan Palmer 73 65, Brian Harman 70 68, Ryan Moore 69 69

139 Bud Cauley 71 68, Austin Cook 71 68, Beau Hossler 70 69, Lucas Glover 74 65, Patrick Cantlay 67 72, Matt Every 73 66, Fabian Gomez (Arg) 68 71, Michael Thompson 74 65, Kyung Ju Choi (Kor) 69 70

140 Nick Watney 68 72, Chris Kirk 70 70, Zach Johnson 70 70, Byeong-Hun An (Kor) 73 67, Stewart Cink 70 70, Jonas Blixt (Swe) 67 73, Harris English 67 73, Kevin Streelman 70 70, Jim Furyk 70 70, Wesley Bryan 69 71, John Huh 66 74, Dylan Frittelli (Rsa) 72 68, Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) 69 71

141 JJ Henry 72 69, Charley Hoffman 72 69, William McGirt 71 70

142 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 73 69, Scott Stallings 74 68, Brian Gay 71 71, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 69 73, Doc Redman (a) 71 71, Ben Martin 74 68, Ollie Schniederjans 73 69, Kevin Tway 71 71, Tyrone Van Aswegen (Rsa) 73 69, Dominic Bozzelli 70 72, Graeme McDowell (N Irl) 73 69, Davis Love III 73 69, David Lingmerth (Swe) 71 71, Aaron Baddeley (Aus) 73 69, Rod Pampling (Aus) 72 70, Ryan Armour 71 71, Keith Mitchell 71 71, Michael Kim 76 66, Jonathan Byrd 71 71, Russell Knox (Sco) 70 72

MISSED CUT

143 Robert Garrigus 72 71, Jason Dufner 71 72, John Senden (Aus) 69 74, Dru Love 77 66, Kelly Kraft 71 72, Kevin Chappell 73 70, Kevin Na 74 69, Steve Marino 74 69, Marc Leishman (Aus) 72 71, Patton Kizzire 71 72, J.J. Spaun 71 72, Luke Donald (Eng) 76 67

144 Chris Stroud 73 71, Jason Kokrak 71 73, Scott Brown 70 74, Ross Fisher (Eng) 77 67, Harold Varner III 72 72, Sam Saunders 70 74, Robert Streb 73 71, Grayson Murray 74 70, Bob Estes 74 70, Ryan Blaum 74 70, Mackenzie Hughes (Can) 72 72, Blayne Barber 74 70

145 Hudson Swafford 75 70, Colt Knost 72 73, Philip Knowles 71 74, Richy Werenski 71 74, Billy Hurley III 74 71, D.A. Points 72 73, Sean O’Hair 71 74, Corey Conners (Can) 74 71

146 Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 79 67, Tyrrell Hatton (Eng) 75 71, Paul Casey (Eng) 75 71, Glen Day 77 69, Nick Taylor (Can) 73 73, Anirban Lahiri (Ind) 72 74, Brandon Harkins 76 70

147 Sam Ryder 71 76

148 Jeff Maggert 76 72, Cody Gribble 75 73, Carl Pettersson (Swe) 75 73

149 Martin Flores 75 74, Geoff Ogilvy (Aus) 73 76, Jon Curran 78 71

150 James Hahn 75 75

151 Chad Campbell 76 75, Vaughn Taylor 75 76

152 David Hearn (Can) 81 71, Greg Chalmers (Aus) 76 76

153 Steve Scott 80 73, Sung Kang (Kor) 74 79

157 Derek Fathauer 81 76

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