Golf: Peter Uihlein stretches Shriners Open lead to two strokes at halfway mark

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Peter Uihlein shook off an early bogey to card a five-under par 66 on Friday (Nov 2) and stretch his lead to two strokes midway through the US PGA Tour Shriners for Children Open.

Uihlein, whose first-round 63 on Thursday was fuelled by birdies at three of his first six holes, bogeyed the par-four second at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, Nevada.

A birdie at the fourth saw him make the turn even for the day, but he produced five birdies on the back nine to build a 36-hole total of 13-under par 129 – two shots clear of fellow American Robert Streb and South Korean Kim Whee.

“I just kept trying to hit fairways and greens, get a bit more stable with it, I guess,” said Uihlein, who has hit 32 of 36 greens over the first two rounds.

“Made an unbelievable par on six, which kind of righted the ship, and then after that I was pretty efficient, hit a lot of fairways, lot of greens. I felt like if I just did that I’d give myself a lot of chances the hole would eventually open up and the ball would start going in.”

Birdies at five of his last seven holes – the longest a 21-footer at the par-three 14th, kept the 29-year-old in the lead.

Kim and Streb both played bogey-free to share second position. Kim teed off on the 10th and jump-started his six-under 65 by rolling in a 19-footer for birdie at the 12th.

He added three more birdies at the 14th, 15th and 16th, and after a 17-foot birdie at the fifth he capped his round with at the ninth that put him on 11-under 131.

Streb joined him there with a five-under 66. He, too, birdied the 14th, 15th and 16th, and finished off his round by salvaging a birdie from the right rough at the ninth.

US Ryder Cup player Bryson DeChambeau carded a 66 to join a group sharing fourth on 10-under 132, with Mexico’s Abraham Ancer and American Harold Varner.

Three-time Major winner Jordan Spieth remained within striking distance after a three-under 68 for an eight-under total of 134.

Spieth was tied with Cameron Champ, winner of last week’s Sanderson Farms championship, and New Zealand’s Danny Lee.

Rickie Fowler, playing for the first time since the Americans’ Ryder Cup loss to Europe in France in September, had six birdies in a four-under 67 to head a group on seven-under.

“Shaking some cobwebs and some rust off,” Fowler said.”I feel like we’re off to a solid start these first two days. After basically coming off not playing a whole lot of golf, I’m happy where we’re at.”

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