Keegan Bradley maintains lead at Byron Nelson
IRVING, Texas — Keegan Bradley again bogeyed Nos. 1 and 18 in the second round of the Byron Nelson Championship.
Unlike the first round, Bradley didn't set a course record. But he still finished with a three-stroke lead.
Bradley started and ended his round Friday with those bogeys, part of a 1-under 69 that got him to 11-under 129, the lowest 36-hole total at the Nelson since 2001.
“I'm almost more proud of this round than yesterday because I didn't feel comfortable all day,” said Bradley, whose opening 60 included his only bogeys at those same holes in the middle of that round. “I don't know what it was. I can't put my finger on it, but you know, I bogeyed the first hole. I was a little uncomfortable, and then, I settled in and hit some really good shots.”
Tom Gillis, who shot 63 in the first group of the day off the No. 10 tee, and Sang-Moon Bae (66) were tied for second.
A stroke behind them were 2012 PGA Tour rookie of the year John Huh (64), Ryan Palmer (68) and 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel (70). Schwartzel had an opening 63 and was the closest to Bradley after the first round.
“It was a bit up and down out there,” said Schwartzel, who had three birdies and three bogeys. “Bit of a frustrating day, but I suppose it's the mix.”
Bradley, whose first PGA Tour victory came as a rookie at the Nelson two years ago, started his second round with a drive that missed the fairway at the 458-yard first hole then left his approach short of the green.
“The first hole is probably the easiest hole out here,” he said. “I don't know why I keep making bogey on that hole.”
At No. 18, he drove right into rough under the trees again near a cart path. He punched the ball, which rolled and flirted with water to the left before settling into a swale behind the green. He chipped to within 6 1⁄2 feet of the hole but missed the par putt.
“I've got a four-shot lead, so the last thing I wanted to do was plop it in the water. I bailed out,” said Bradley, who also won the PGA Championship in 2011 and the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational last year. “I didn't hit that bad of a shot; it just got in the wind. I thought it was going to be way left of where it was, but I'm going to hit good ones Saturday and Sunday.”
Between those bogeys, Bradley had another bogey at No. 6, four birdies and several nice par-saving shots, including a two-putt from 35 feet after driving into the trees at No. 14 and a blast to 4 feet of the hole from a greenside bunker at No. 15.
Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old amateur from China, missed the cut with rounds of 70 and 77.
He said he “probably” would stay in the United States to play more golf but wasn't specific about where or confirm if he would play in a U.S. Open sectional qualifier June 3.