Safeway Open: Tyler Duncan takes second-round lead

By The Sports Xchange  |  Oct. 7, 2017 at 9:52 AM
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Tyler Duncan finished an uneven second round with two birdies and an eagle on Friday to grab a one-shot lead in the Safeway Open in Napa, Calif.

Duncan, who began the day tied for first, fired a 6-under-par 66 at the North Course at Silverado Resort and Spa for a two-day total of 13-under 131, a stroke ahead of defending champion Brendan Steele, who shot a 67 on Friday.

The tournament is the opener of the 2017-18 PGA Tour schedule.

Duncan, making his second career PGA Tour start, had an erratic round. Starting the day at the 10th tee, he had three birdies on his front nine, but then had three consecutive bogeys at the third, fourth and fifth holes on his back nine. He then righted himself and had a birdie-2 on the seventh hole, a birdie-3 on the eighth hole and an eagle-3 on his final hole, the par-5 ninth.

"It's crazy, it's nothing I could have ever dreamed of," said Duncan, according to the Napa Valley Register. "I don't think it's sunk in yet, to be honest. It's something I've dreamed about for a long time. I'm just happy to be playing here and to be in the lead is something special."

Steele also had a bogey in his round, but he countered that with six birdies.

"It was really a solid day, very similar to yesterday," Steele said, according to the Register. "I hit a lot of good shots, rolled and a lot of good putts and was able to watch Chesson go crazy."

Chesson is Chesson Hadley, who shot an 11-under 61 in the second round to break the course record, leaving him alone in third place at 133. He had a chance for a 59, but parred the final two holes.

Hadley lost his PGA Tour card at the end of the 2016 season and dropped back to the Web.com Tour. He captured his third career win on that tour in July, at the LECOM Health Challenge, and that ensured his return to the PGA Tour.

He carded 10 birdies, a bogey and an eagle on his round Friday to put himself in contention heading into the weekend.

"It's just one of those days everything was going my way," Hadley told the Register. "I was hitting great shots, good putts and got some good breaks. When you get that of momentum, things just go your way."

Tied for fourth, two strokes behind Hadley, were Zac Blair, who shot a 66 on Friday, and Tony Finau, who shot 65. Graham DeLaet of Canada and Brian Davis of England are another stroke back in sixth after shooting rounds of 67 and 66, respectively.

Phil Mickelson shot a 69 in the second round and is tied for 15th at 138.

"I expected to score a little bit better today, but I had some good chances today," said Mickelson, who had a double bogey on his round. "I drove it a lot better, I hit quite a few more fairways and gave myself some good birdie chances. But I let a few opportunities slide."

John Daly, a two-time major winner who is playing this event on a sponsor exemption, birdied the 18th for a 69 to make the cut at 143.

K.J. Choi was among those who missed the cut. Jason Schmuhl didn't make the cut either but hit a hole-in-one on No. 15.

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