(Reuters) – Brandt Snedeker followed up his first-round 59 at the Wyndham Championship with a three-under-par 67 on Friday, good for a two-stroke lead over fellow American D.A. Points.
After posting the Tour’s 10th sub-60 round on Thursday, Snedeker’s 14-under 126 total is the lowest halfway score of the season on the PGA Tour.
Snedeker started the second round slowly but found his groove on the back nine, coaxing in a 30-foot eagle putt at the par-five 15th, and then holing one from slightly longer for birdie at the next at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina.
“I knew it was going to be tough, battling the emotion of everybody pulling hard for you, wanting to see you do it again,” Snedeker said.
“I didn’t really drive it well, didn’t do anything particularly well on the front nine. Pulled myself together on the back nine, made some good swings, made a few putts.”
Snedeker did not even try to block out thoughts of the previous day.
“You hear people telling you every two seconds ‘Mr. 59’ or how cool it was to watch it.
“Phone is still blowing up this morning, guys in the locker room are still talking to me about it so yes, totally on your mind.
“You can’t ignore it, you can’t try to forget about it. Hardest thing is trying to get back into a rhythm.
“Took a little while to do that. Now I’m better equipped for the next time I shoot 59 and play the next day.”
Points, who had made just one cut since January, struck form with a new set of irons, carding 64 to jump into second place on 12-under.
The 41-year-old, who has three career victories in 324 events, said he is playing with two herniated discs in his back.
“My thumb, index finger and middle finger go numb 10 or 15 times a day,” he said.
“I’ve been talking with lots of doctors trying to make a game plan.”
C.T. Pan of Taiwan matched the 64 by Points to move into third place on 11-under.
The cut in the final regular event of the season fell at three-under 137.
The top 125 on the season-long points list advance to the four-event FedExCup playoffs that start next week. Sergio Garcia, ranked 131st, kept alive his playoff hopes by shooting a 65 that left him equal fourth on nine-under.
The Spaniard did not sound overly fussed as to whether he qualified for next week or not.
“If I have a great weekend, then it will be great,” he said. “If I don’t have a great weekend, it will still be great because I’ll get to rest.”
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford)