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Kuchar takes two-shot lead over Champ


Mexico City: Matt Kuchar grabbed a two-shot lead at the US PGA Tour’s Mayakoba Classic in Mexico on Friday, firing his second straight 64 for a 14-under par total of 128. Kuchar, owner of seven tour titles but seeking his first since the 2014 RBC Heritage, was two strokes clear of Cameron Champ, who fired a nine-under par 62 to set an early target on 130. Champ, who won his first PGA Tour title in his second start as a tour member at the Sanderson Farms Championship in Mississippi last month, had eight birdies an eagle and one bogey on the El Camaleon Golf Club Course in Playa del Carmen.

Champ said he never thought about the possibility of shooting a 59. “I forgot what par was, to be honest,” he said. “I was just flowing, I just kind of felt in the zone, really. I was just trying to execute each shot at a time.” Although Champ topped the leaderboard when he walked off the course, Kuchar, who started the day in a three-way tie for the lead with Dominic Bozzelli and Kramer Hickok, was soon in hot pursuit. Kuchar birdied five straight on the front nine and picked up three more birdies coming in to offset his only bogey of the day at the par-four 12th, where his tee shot found the bushes before he limited the damage with a long bogey putt.

Bozzelli lost ground with a four-under par 67 that left him in a group of seven players sharing third place on 131, a group that also included New Zealand’s Danny Lee and India’s Anirban Lahiri. Hickok carded a 68 to join a group on 132. Three-time major winner Jordan Spieth, playing his last tournament of the calendar year, missed the cut. After an even par 71 on Thursday he had four birdies and two bogeys in a two-under 69 that wasn’t enough to see him through to the weekend. He missed the cut by two strokes with a two-under total of 140. — AFP

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