2017 Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Jonas Blixt, Cameron Smith hold slim lead

By The Sports Xchange  |  April 29, 2017 at 12:20 PM
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Jonas Blixt of Sweden and Cameron Smith of Australia combined for a 10-under-par 62 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead over Patrick Reed and Patrick Cantlay in four-ball at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in Avondale, La.

The tournament is being contested as a team event for the first time this year. It is the PGA Tour's first official team tournament since the 1981 Disney Classic.

Thursday's first round, which had Jordan Spieth and Ryan Palmer tied for the lead, used alternate shot. Saturday's third round will revert to the same format as Thursday and the final round on Sunday will be four-ball again.

Blixt and Smith were at 15-under 129 through 36 holes. Reed and Cantlay also shot a 62 in the second round for a two-day total of 130.

Tied for third at 131 after 36 holes were K.J. Choi and Charlie Wi with Troy Merritt and Robert Streb. Choi-Wi shot a 64 and Merritt-Streb a 62.

Blixt and Smith avoided bogey and had birdies at Nos. 5, 8, 13, 15, 16 and 17. They also eagled the par-5 Nos. 2 and 7.

"Jonas is putting really good, chipping really good, so you always know he's going to get up-and-down for par, so just shooting the pins, and it all came off today," Smith said.

Reed and Cantlay turned in 10 birdies and no bogeys. Choi and Wi also were bogey-free with eight birdies.

"It was a lot more freedom today," Cantlay said. "I went first off the tees and hit most of the fairways, and I think that helped set the tone and free everybody up, and we both made a bunch of putts, so great day today."

Streb had eight of his team's birdies. Their lone bogey was at the par-4 No. 12.

Defending Zurich Classic champion Brian Stuard and partner Chris Stroud finished the day at 132 along with Spieth and Palmer, Alex Cejka and Soren Kjeldsen, Charley Hoffman and Nick Watney, Xander Schauffele and Tag Ridings, and first-round co-leaders Kyle Stanley and Ryan Ruffels.

Spieth and Palmer shot their second 66 in a row.

South Africans Retief Goosen and Tyrone Van Aswegen set a tournament record with a round of 12-under 60.

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