Saturday, April 29, 2017

Grace (66) leads by 1 at Texas Open

Branden Grace shot a 6-under 66 on Thursday to take a one-shot lead in the Valero Texas Open. Here’s how things stand going into the second round in San Antonio:

Leaderboard: Grace (-6), Will MacKenzie (-5), John Huh (-5), Stewart Cink (-5)

What it means: South African Grace is coming off his best finish of the season, a T-11 in the RBC-Heritage. MacKenzie and Huh were more surprising entries on the leaderboard. MacKenzie is playing for the first time in almost a month (Puerto Rico Open in March). Huh’s last three results were T-66 at Bay Hill, T-39 at Houston and a MC at Harbour Town.

Round of the day: Grace’s 6-under 66 featured seven birdies against one bogey. He did what he needed to do, making birdie on three of the four par-5 holes (all but the 18th).

Best of the rest: MacKenzie, Huh and Cink matched 5-under 67s. After bogeyng his first hole of the day, the par-4 10th, MacKenzie logged three birdies on each side. Huh made the turn in 1 under, but heated up on the back nine, adding four more circles. Cink played in the afternoon wave.

Biggest disappointment: Needing to make $30,624 this week to keep his card, Ian Poulter came out flat, making the turn in 3 over par. Things got a little better on his second nine, with one bogey and one birdie, but his 75 puts a ton of pressure on him in Round 2.

Shot of the day: Ken Duke was bunkered, 76 feet from the pin in two, on the par-5 14th hole. He splashed the ball out of the sand and onto the green, where this happened:

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