As it turns out, shooting 10 under in your opening round gives you breathing room to make mistakes in subsequent rounds.
Matthew Wolff found that out Friday, as he followed up a career-best 61 on Thursday with a 3-under 68 in Round 2, good enough for him to maintain his two-stroke lead in the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba, Mexico.
Wolff had bogeys on holes 6, 16 and 18, but balanced those out with six birdies on the day.
Wolff, a 22-year-old with just one PGA Tour win on his resume (3M Open, 2019), was pleased with a day that left him 13 under.
“When you shoot 3 under following a 10 under, you’re always like, I definitely left some out there, but the afternoon wasn’t playing extremely easy out there,” Wolff said. “Had a good round going, a couple bogeys coming in, but I think for two rounds I’ve only made three bogeys, so I’ll take that any day of the week and put myself in a really good spot on the weekend.”
Not many golfers managed to shoot better than that. Three who did have leapt into the top four.
Scottie Scheffler is in second place (11 under) after his second-round 64. He scored seven birdies without a bogey, including a five-birdie streak at Nos. 4-8.
“I just kept the ball in play,” Scheffler said. “I gave myself a lot of looks today. I don’t think I missed very many greens, so that’s really important around this place, just keep it in position. I did a good job of that today.”
Mexico’s Carlos Ortiz and Norway’s Viktor Hovland posted matching 65s, and they each sit in a third-place tie at 10 under.
Ortiz balanced a single bogey against seven birdies, while Hovland shook off a double bogey on his 10th hole to finish up with five birdies on his last eight holes.
“I knew I was playing good golf, so I just had to reset,” Hovland said. “I was happy I made five birdies coming in.”
Hovland, the defending champion, birdied the 72nd hole to claim a dramatic one-stroke victory in last year’s tournament.
“Obviously I have some good memories here and I know I can play this course well, but it’s not going to — the putts aren’t going to make themselves and it’s not just going to roll over, so I’ve got to step up and play the golf that I expect of myself,” he said.
Aaron Wise, who finished second a year ago and posted an 8-under 63 Thursday, fell into a tie for fifth with nine other golfers at 9 under after his second-round 70.
The other golfers tied four strokes off the lead include Bill Haas, Anirban Lahiri of India, Michael Thompson, Sergio Garcia of Spain, Talor Gooch, Billy Horschel, Ryan Palmer, Justin Thomas and J.J. Spaun.
Tied for 15th at 8 under (five strokes back) are Russell Henley, Doug Ghim, James Hahn, Andrew Landry, Martin Laird of Scotland, Matt Kuchar and South Africa’s Garrick Higgo.
Sixty-one players did not make the cut for Saturday’s third round, including Ian Poulter of England, Shane Lowry of Ireland and Brooks Koepka. Kelly Kraft withdrew due to illness.
–Field Level Media
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