Todd leads by 2 at Nelson, Casey has record back 9
IRVING, Texas (AP) — Brendon Todd birdied his final two holes Friday to take a two-stroke lead after two rounds at the Byron Nelson Championship.
The birdies at Nos. 17 and 18 wrapped up a 6-under 64 and put Todd alone atop the crowded leaderboard at 8-under 132. Among eight players at 6 under were Martin Kaymer and Paul Casey after his record back nine.
Casey was over par before matching the PGA Tour record for the best score on a back nine, an 8-under 27 with six birdies and an eagle. That was part of his 7-under 63 that was the low round of the day and the best half-round he could remember.
“On par-3 courses, I think,” Casey said. “I like to think I would be good at shooting low rounds of golf through the past, but certainly nothing like that.”
The Englishman began his stunning nine just one hole after he had recorded his third bogey of the round.
“It’s easier when your back is up against the wall, like I was today” Casey said. “I was backed into a corner and had to do something. A little shift in, let’s say, attitude, and a little shift in goals.”
Todd, who is back on the PGA Tour after getting his card back through the Web.com Tour, got to 7 under with a 12-foot birdie at the par-3 13th hole. But he gave that stroke back at the par-4 15th when he hit his first two shots into the rough and had his only bogey.
He had sole possession of the lead after his 6-foot birdie at the par-3 17th, where his tee shot rolled just past the hole. The last of his seven birdies, in a round when he needed only 22 putts, came after his approach inside 10 feet at No. 18.
“It’s nice to put two under-par rounds together before the cut. That’s been a challenge for me this year,” Todd said. “I was patient today.”
Also at 6 under were 2003 Masters champion Mike Weir (66), who hasn’t had a top-25 finish since 2010 when he had an elbow injury, fellow Canadian Graham DeLaet (66), Morgan Hoffmann (66), Tim Herron (66), Charles Howell III and Marc Leishman (68).
Kaymer had his second consecutive 67, and has been in the 60s for all six of his rounds at TPC Four Seasons.
Peter Hanson was leading after a first-round 65, but was eight strokes worse Friday and dropped back to a tie for 25th at 2 under.
David Duval, only a stroke off the lead after an opening 66 that included birdies on four of his last five holes, shot a 76 Friday and missed the cut by a stroke at 2-over 142. The former No. 1 player, now 890th in the world 15 years later, had six bogeys over his last 11 holes and had only one birdie during his second round.
Casey, whose only PGA Tour victory came in Houston five years ago, matched the tour record for a back-nine score. The overall record for nine holes is Corey Pavin’s 8-under 26 on the front nine in the first round of the 2006 U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee.
Defending Nelson champion Sang-Moon Bae missed the cut after rounds of 73 and 74.