Garrick Higgo and Branden Grace carded a 65 in Friday’s foursomes at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
The South African duo are 15 under par after two rounds of the PGA Tour’s only two-man team event, two shots behind leaders Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, who combined for a four-under-par 68.
Reigning FedEx Cup champion Cantlay and Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Schauffele produced five birdies and a bogey at TPC Avondale to stay in front by one shot after they fired a red-hot 59 in the fourball first round.
“I think we just wanted to hit a bunch of quality golf shots, and we did that today,” Cantlay said of how the duo had hoped to follow up their impressive first round.
“We really fought hard and made a bunch of those mid-range putts, especially in the middle of the round, and that kept the momentum going. It’s kind of tricky out there with the wind how it is, so I thought we played a nice round today.”
Cantlay acknowledged that Friday’s alternate-shot format was more difficult. But they made a strong start, with Schauffele’s second shot at the 10th leaving Cantlay a three-foot birdie putt.
They picked up another birdie, where Schauffele’s third shot into the green left Cantlay a tap-in.
After a bogey at the 12th, they picked up a birdie at the 13th, where Schauffele rolled in a seven-foot putt. He drained a six-and-a-half-footer for birdie at the second and Cantlay jarred a 10-foot birdie putt at the 4th.
“Alternate-shot is an opportunity to do some cool things if you’re making a lot of birdies, but for the most part you’re trying to leave your partner in a good spot to make an easy par,” Schauffele said.
“A lot of times pars aren’t going to hurt you, and if you can pick up a birdie in this kind of wind playing alternate-shot, you’re doing a good thing.”
Two teams shared second on 128. England’s Aaron Rai and American David Lipsky carded a 67 while Americans Doc Redman and Sam Ryder posted a 67.
The US duo of Wyndham Clark and Cameron Tringale carded a 67 and were joined on 129 by Higgo and Grace.
Jay Haas (68) became the oldest player to make the cut in a PGA Tour event as he and his son Bill finished on the cut line of eight under.
Jay Haas, a nine-time winner on the PGA Tour, rolled in a five-foot par-saving putt on 18 to keep them at eight under.
He broke the record for oldest player to make a cut held by Sam Snead, who was 67 when he made his last cut in 1979.
© Agence France-Presse