Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Lahiri on fire in second round, shoots 61 to move to top

Fantasy Golf Breaking News Kelly Kraft leads A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier after second-round 63
Cary Erickson | 09 July, 2018, 08:39

Webb Simpson just missed out on posting the first 59 of the year on the PGA Tour as he stormed into the first-round lead in the A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier.

One under par after his first eight holes, Rahm duffed his third shot from the rough at the par-4 No. 18 into a greenside bunker and slammed his club into the turf in frustration.

The round was delayed one hour and 54 minutes by inclement weather with the last groups finishing as darkness set in.

Playing in the afternoon, Simpson had three consecutive birdies around the turn, then chipped in for an eagle on the par-5 12th to move to 7 under. A birdie-birdie finish on the last two holes would have been enough. Thursday represented his 10th round under 63 on the PGA Tour but his first-round 61 was his best individual round on Tour.

"I've changed my attitude a little bit starting with last week", he told the Golf Channel. The former Baylor School and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga standout offset his lone bogey with three birdies and an eagle on the par-5 12th hole. "You know, 13 was one of those miracle pars, should've made bogey there".

Simpson's round of 67 paled in comparison to the 61 of yesterday but he was delighted with the way he bounced back after a shaky start.

"Golf is amusing", the Australian veteran said shortly after matching the course with her 10-under effort. But Simpson calmly struck the approach to within 5-feet, 10-inches of the hole and drained the putt in a crucial, momentum-saving swing. "Just being more comfortable over the golf ball and trusting what I'm doing". But I'm not thinking about that. It won't be easy as 33 players shot at least 5-under.

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South Korean Whee Kim is a shot behind at West Virginia, followed by Chilean Joaquin Niemann on seven under.

Former victor of the event, Stuart Appleby, Robert Allenby, Steve Bowditch and Geoff Ogilvy will also have the weekend off. Phil Mickelson, a five-time major victor, came in with a 4-under-par 64. Keegan Bradley, a former PGA Championship victor, is in a tie for fifth after carding a five-under-par 65.

Going low in White Sulphur Springs is nothing new to Kraft, who finished in a tie for fifth at the 2017 Greenbrier Classic and who has yet to shoot par or worse at the Old White TPC. He parred the 13th, his fourth hole of the second day, and then again holed 14-footer for his fourth birdie.

"I knew a 59 was in there, but it's all right", Simpson said. "I was 6-under after 10". I've got a lot of confidence going into the weekend, but I've just got to keep the pedal down out here. Previous year I didn't putt so well and everything today just seemed like it was going in, and yesterday too.

The top four players not already exempt among the top 12 finishers will earn spots in the British Open at Carnoustie starting July 19.

Kim had six birdies and two bogeys, which were back-to-back, between the second and ninth and on back nine he had four more birdies for a total of 10 birdies and two bogeys in his 62.

Jason Kokrak is a further shot adrift in fourth place after shooting 64, while Korea's Whee Kim and Harold Varner III were tied for fifth on 10-under par.