Palmer Shoots 62, Joins Lead at Low-Scoring Byron Nelson | Sports News

 Palmer Shoots 62, Joins Lead at Low-Scoring Byron Nelson | Sports News


By SCHUYLER DIXON, AP Sports Writer

McKINNEY, Texas (AP) – Jordan Spieth thinks the course for his hometown Byron Nelson will be more difficult to play after giving up more birdies in its debut than in any PGA Tour tournament last season.

The three-time major winner said he couldn’t be more wrong, and was frankly surprised at how little he thought had been done in the first two days to make TPC Craig Ranch a tougher test.

Ryan Palmer, one of the Dallas-area players in the shadow of Spieth and Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, shot a 10-under 62 on Friday and tied at 15 under with Sebastián Muñoz and 40-year-old tour rookie David Skinns .

Muñoz, a Colombian who lives in the Dallas area and attends college in North Texas, went through 13 more holes from his second 60 of the season – a first on the PGA Tour – before birdies in three of four. holes for 69. Shot by Skinns 63.

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Justin Lower, another older rookie on the tour at 33, was alone in fourth, a shot behind the leaders after 66.

“I mean, a 60 yesterday and a lot of 8s (under) and 7s all over the board,” said Spieth, who shot 65 and three shots from the lead of the group that included defending champion KH Lee.

“It’s just, a lot of tees have been done, it’s really shocking,” Spieth said. “I think they looked at the weekend as a bit of a breeze and so they used the faster pins in the first two days because I could only name one or two pins in it. golf course that isn’t the easiest of the two locations that are in. the vegetables.I was a bit surprised how, on a less difficult golf course they also set it up that much easier for us, too.

Nelson is the only 2020-21 tournament with more than 2,000 birdies (2,007). There were 38 eagles in the first round on Thursday, the most for a round this season.

Charl Schwartzel had one of the Friday eagles in the round of 65 that put him 13 under. The 2011 Masters winner drove a greenside bunker for 316-yards, par-4 14th and got out of there.

Top -ranked Scheffler, who came in with four wins in six individual events capped by the Masters win, shot 68 and under 9 after two rounds with his former Texas Longhorns teammate Spieth and Lee.

Palmer, who finished his opening round with an eagle in the par-5 18th, started nine in the back and birdyed six of the last seven holes on that side, then added four more to before a bogey-free round.

The 45-year-old has not won an individual event since 2010 in Hawaii. Palmer lives in nearby Colleyville and is a member of the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, where the tour returns two weeks after the PGA Championship in the Southern Hills.

Palmer had two more shots in the middle of his last stop in Texas in San Antonio in early April before shooting 7 over the weekend. He is a four -time winner, including the 2019 Zurich team event in New Orleans with Jon Rahm.

“I spent 19 years doing this, it’s unbelievable that I’ve been here so long, and these guys … you have to play as good golf as they can to beat them,” Palmer said. “We’re in position again and we can learn from what we learned in San Antonio and try and do it here.”

Lee won his rain -hit Craig Ranch debut at the age of 25 under while Spieth tied for ninth, his personal best in a tournament he wanted to win because of his outstanding pro debut with Nelson as a 16-year-old Sunday contender in 2010.

There is no sign of rain this season in McKinney, about 30 miles north of downtown Dallas, and strong winds for the first two days. Mix that up with the expectation that the worse cause a year after a deep freeze in February has disappeared, and Spieth thinks the scores are higher.

However, he found himself calling the moved box on the tee in the par-5 ninth, playing just 474 yards and averaging nearly three-quarters of a stroke below par Friday. That was the easiest hole of the course.

The Tom Weiskopf-designed course also has wide fairways and large greens.

“Some are familiar to me on some of the courses I played back in South Africa,” said Schwartzel, who tied for third in 21 under last year. “I don’t feel claustrophobic from the tee. It gives me a little space, and once I get it to play, playing iron isn’t much of a problem. That’s why it’s so comfortable. ”

Skinns, an Englishman with no top-25 finishes in 20 PGA Tour appearances spanning nearly a decade, has five consecutive birdies starting the par-3 seventh of his career-best round.

Lower has never finished taller than equaling 15th in an individual event. He paired Dylan Wu to tie for 10th in the team event in New Orleans.

Ninth -ranked Spieth and No. 17 Joaquin Niemann, who is also under 12, tops the list of 10 of the top 30 in the world in the field.

The No. 13 Hideki Matsuyama under 11, a shot better than eighth-ranked Justin Thomas, who spent the first two days of the group ahead of Spieth, his close friend and house guest this week.

The No. 11th Dustin Johnson for 7 under, and 12th-ranked Xander Schauffele rallied from 3 overs for the tournament early in the second round with eight birdies over 10 holes to cut the number 5 under.

The rest of the top 30 players did not make the cut: 10th-ranked Sam Burns, Lee’s runner-up to Nelson last year; Will Zalatoris (28th), another player at his hometown event; and Kevin Kisner (30th).

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