South Africa’s Garrick Higgo is tied in fourth heading into the weekend at the PGA Tour’s Sanderson Farms Championship in Mississippi.
Higgo followed his first-round 66 with a second-round 70 that included eight birdies and two bogeys.
That put him on eight under, two shots behind the co-leaders, Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes and Belgium’s Thomas Detry.
Hughes fired a scintillating nine-under-par 63, opening a superb second round at the Country Club of Jackson with three straight birdies and never looking back in a flawless bogey-free outing.
The 31-year-old journeyman from Ontario closed with back-to-back birdies on the 17th and 18th holes to move to 10 under for the tournament alongside Detry, who shot a 67.
They head into the third round one stroke clear of Austria’s Sepp Straka, who moved into contention with a second-round 66.
Mark Hubbard, Scott Stallings and Higgo are tied in fourth on eight under, with Davis Riley, Nick Hardy and Germany’s Stephan Jaeger tied on seven under.
South Africa’s Dean Burmester is on six under (T10) after carding a 68 on Friday.
Hughes attributed a change of coach and hard work in the gym for his sparkling form.
“I started with a new coach a couple of weeks ago and working on a couple of small things which have been showing on the golf course, and I’ve been putting in a lot of work in the gym.
“It’s just a combination of a few different things, but I’ve been working hard at it, and it’s always nice when you put in hard work and get some good results.”
The 29-year-old Detry said a simplified approach this week has paid dividends, the Belgian practising sparingly before the tournament.
“I’ve kept it really simple. I haven’t really hit a shot – last week I was completely resting,” Detry said. “I’ve hit balls for like 15 minutes on the range on Tuesday, and I was hitting it well, so that’s all I have to do really.
“I need to work on the pace a little bit, but my putting has been decent.”
© Agence France-Presse