JB Holmes takes the halfway lead at Phoenix Open

65 sees American top leaderboard by one as Jon Rahm fumes after his poor finish

American JB Holmes used a sizzling five-hole stretch to earn a one-shot lead after the second round at the Phoenix Open in Arizona on Friday.

After going five under par over five holes earlier in the round, Holmes bogeyed his final hole after a poor approach shot and shot six-under-par 65 on another perfect day in the desert at TPC Scottsdale.

With a 13-under 129 total, he headed first-round pacesetter Wyndham Clark, who could not come close to emulating his opening 61, shooting eight shots higher.

Billy Horschel and South Korean An Byeong-hun were equal third on 11-under, while Scott Piercy, boosted by the first ace of his career, with a six-iron from 194 yards at the seventh hole, trailed by three shots.

Holmes last had the halfway lead at the British Open in July, sharing it with eventual champion Shane Lowry on that occasion.

He played Friday with medical tape on his right elbow, a joint that has afflicted him for years and which required an in-round massage from his trainer on Thursday.

“I made a few more longer putts yesterday but still putted well today,” said Holmes, a two-times Phoenix winner.

Second-placed Clark did not quite fire on all cylinders but did his chances little harm.

“I wanted to extend my lead. Unfortunately didn’t have my best today,” said second-year tour player Clark, adding that he still felt confident with his game.

Among the big names, Spanish world number three Jon Rahm (68) had steam coming from his ears after two bogeys in the final three holes left him six shots off the pace in his adopted hometown.

Rahm’s poor finish came out of the blue following a run of five straight birdies.

“Could not be an easier finish but to finish two over par on those three holes kind of pisses me off,” Rahm said.

“Playing great golf and then an absolutely terrible finish honestly. It’s just rough.”

Defending champion Rickie Fowler rallied with the day’s second best score, shooting 65 to make the cut, though he trailed Holmes by 10 strokes.

But the puzzling decline of former world number one Jordan Spieth continued as the Texan missed the cut with his one-over total.

Spieth has had only two top-10 finishes in the past eight months.

“I really wanted to play the weekend. I had a bunch of buddies come into town and wanted to give them something to watch the next couple of days,” said Spieth, who blamed poor putting for his early exit.

Collated second round scores & totals in the USPGA Tour Waste Management Phoenix Open(USA unless stated, par 71):

129 JB Holmes 64 65

130 Wyndham Clark 61 69

131 Byeong-Hun An (Kor) 65 66, Billy Horschel 63 68

132 Scott Piercy 67 65

133 Hudson Swafford 66 67, Nate Lashley 66 67

134 Xander Schauffele 67 67, Adam Long 66 68, Branden Grace (Rsa) 67 67, Webb Simpson 71 63

135 Tony Finau 69 66, Jon Rahm (Spa) 67 68, Cheng-Tsung Pan (Tai) 69 66, Keith Mitchell 68 67, Bubba Watson 69 66

136 Brandon Hagy 67 69, Adam Hadwin (Can) 69 67, Tom Hoge 65 71, Doc Redman 69 67, Justin Thomas 68 68, James Hahn 69 67, Collin Morikawa 69 67, Patrick Rodgers 67 69

137 Keegan Bradley 67 70, Bud Cauley 65 72, Danny Lee (Nzl) 68 69, Sam Ryder 71 66, Mark Hubbard 69 68, Gary Woodland 70 67, John Huh 71 66, Harris English 65 72

138 JT Poston 70 68, Aaron Baddeley (Aus) 68 70, Grayson Murray 70 68, Harry Higgs 70 68, Matt Kuchar 68 70, Sungjae Im (Kor) 66 72, Russell Knox (Sco) 71 67

139 Luke List 70 69, Max Homa 72 67, Sung Kang (Kor) 67 72, Martin Laird (Sco) 72 67, Bryson DeChambeau 70 69, Brian Harman 71 68, Kevin Tway 72 67, Brice Garnett 72 67, Rickie Fowler 74 65

140 Daniel Berger 69 71, Carlos Ortiz (Mex) 71 69, Beau Hossler 68 72, Jimmy Walker 69 71, Nick Taylor (Can) 70 70, Corey Conners (Can) 71 69

141 Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 67 74, Charley Hoffman 71 70, Andrew Landry 69 72, Chesson Hadley 73 68, Joel Dahmen 70 71, Talor Gooch 68 73, Denny McCarthy 71 70, Xinjun Zhang (Chn) 69 72, Patton Kizzire 70 71, Kyung Ju Choi (Kor) 66 75, Sebastian Munoz (Col) 70 71, J.J. Spaun 70 71, Dylan Frittelli (Rsa) 71 70

The following players did not make the cut:

142 Jason Kokrak 73 69, Andrew Putnam 72 70, Matt Jones (Aus) 74 68, Harold Varner III 71 71, Colt Knost 70 72, Ryan Palmer 71 71, Viktor Hovland (Nor) 70 72, Peter Malnati 69 73, Chris Stroud 72 70, Zach Johnson 67 75, Kevin Streelman 68 74, Kevin Na 69 73, Sebastian Cappelen (Den) 70 72, Scottie Scheffler 70 72, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) 72 70, Tyler Duncan 72 70, Cameron Tringale 74 68, Ryan Moore 72 70

143 Adam Schenk 70 73, Brian Stuard 72 71, Aaron Wise 70 73, Russell Henley 71 72, Sam Burns 69 74, Jordan Spieth 74 69

144 Sepp Straka (Aut) 74 70, Roger Sloan (Can) 73 71, Kyle Westmoreland 70 74, Luke Donald (Eng) 73 71, Kyoung-hoon Lee (Kor) 71 73, Brandt Snedeker 72 72, Chez Reavie 73 71

145 Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 72 73, Rory Sabbatini (Svk) 73 72, Robby Shelton 73 72, Vaughn Taylor 77 68, Greg Chalmers (Aus) 75 70, Matt Every 76 69, Patrick Flavin 74 71, Jamie Lovemark 74 71, Brendan Steele 71 74, Ted Potter, Jr. 71 74, Bol Van Pelt 76 69

146 Alex Smalley 73 73, Kyle Stanley 71 75, Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 73 73, Austin Cook 74 72, Zack Sucher 74 72, Mackenzie Hughes (Can) 74 72, Troy Merritt 71 75, Kevin Chappell 69 77

147 Trey Mullinax 70 77, Matthew Wolff 73 74, Emiliano Grillo (Arg) 73 74, Chris Kirk 77 70, Scott Harrington 76 71

148 Satoshi Kodaira (Jpn) 73 75, Marty Jertson 77 71, Cameron Smith (Aus) 76 72, Brian Gay 72 76

149 Ryan Armour 71 78

150 Kevin Stadler 78 72, Si Woo Kim (Kor) 76 74

151 Seung-Yul Noh (Kor) 75 76

152 Martin Trainer 78 74, Lanto Griffin 74 78

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