The Associated PressHILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — Bryson DeChambeau shot a career-best 7-under 64 on Friday to take the lead into the weekend at the RBC Heritage Classic.
DeChambeau’s first event as a pro was at Harbour Town Golf Links in 2016. Two years later, he posted his lowest ever on the PGA Tour to get to 10-under 132, one ahead of red-hot Ian Poulter and Kim Si Woo.
Poulter showed he’s not done playing high-level golf with a bogey-free 64. Kim, The Players Championship winner, had a 65 that included a two-shot penalty for touching sand after a bunker shot.
Two shots behind DeChambeau were Chasson Hadley (68), past RBC Heritage winner Brandt Snedeker (64), Luke List (64) and first-round leader Rory Sabbatini (70).
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson shot a second straight 69 and was tied for 26th, six shots off the lead.
DeChambeau, 24, jump-started his round with an eagle on the par-5 and took over the lead with birdies on the 13th, 15th, 16th and 17th holes. He made a knee-knocking, 12-footer for par on the 18th hole after his approach landed in a front-side bunker. DeChambeau pumped his fist when the ball curled in, as pleased with his improved putting as his composure at rallying late to the lead.
“Two years, it’s time,” DeChambeau said.
He won for the first time on tour last summer, shooting a pair of 65s on the way to taking the John Deere Classic. He’s had three top 10s this season, including a second last month at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. DeChambeau’s certain his play at Harbour Town is simply the next step in his progress to the top.
“I’m figuring out a lot of great things that are helping me on the golf course,” he said.
Johnson again played simply and steadily in his first Harbour Town appearance in nine years. His game remains good, his confidence high despite so many golfers between him and the lead. “I feel like I’m playing really solid,” he said. “I’m giving myself some chances and looking forward to the weekend.”
Japan’s Satoshi Kodaira followed his 73 on Thursday with the lowest round of the tournament so far, a 63, to leave him tied for 13th place.
Henderson holds onto lead
KAPOLEI, Hawaii (AP) — Brooke Henderson settled for a one-stroke lead after late struggles on the greens Friday in the Lotte Championship.
Five strokes ahead early on the back nine, Henderson four-putted the par-3 16th for a double bogey and bogeyed the par-4 18th. She finished with a 1-over 73 to drop to 9 under with a round left.
“I’ve been kind of struggling with my putting all year,” Henderson acknowledged. “The first few rounds I had it going and I felt confident with it; then on the back nine I just kept missing. I just felt like that every single putt and kind of got a little bit down.”
Seeking her sixth LPGA Tour victory, the 20-year-old Canadian opened with bogey-free rounds of 68 and 66 at Ko Olina.
Mo Martin was second after a 72. The 2014 Women’s British Open champ countered two bogeys with an eagle on the par-5 13th.
Japan’s Nasa Hataoka, who is a year younger than Henderson, had a 68 to join third-ranked Park Inbee (71) at 7 under. Hataoka won the 2016 Japan Women’s Open, becoming the first amateur — and youngest player — to win a Japan LPGA major.