An takes solo lead, Spieth in contention at Wyndham Championship

By Sports Desk August 02, 2019

An Byeong-hun edged into a one-stroke lead at the Wyndham Championship, while Jordan Spieth remained in contention at the halfway mark.

An, 27, sits alone atop the leaderboard at 13 under entering the weekend at the Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The South Korean shot a blemish-free five-under 65 on Friday with consecutive birdies on his front nine, the 14th and 15th holes, and again after he made the turn from the third through the fifth.

His steady play kept him ahead after entering the day sharing the 18-hole lead, and all it took was some impressive putting to separate himself from the field. An sunk a 30-foot putt at the fourth hole and sits just one stroke ahead of Brice Garnett.

Garnett matched his opening round of six-under 64 to move into second at 12 under.

He also finished the day with a clean scorecard and was mere inches away from yet another tie for first.

Spieth backed up his opening-round 64 with a three-under 67 to get to nine under, four shots adrift of the lead.

Im Sung-jae – the other 18-hole leader – Patton Kizzire, Adam Svensson, Josh Teater, Webb Simpson and Mackenzie Hughes are at 11 under.

Paul Casey highlights the three-way tie for ninth at 10 under, while defending champion Brandt Snedeker fell back to a tie for 38th after an even-par 70.

Hideki Matsuyama, Jimmy Walker, Kevin Streelman and Cameron Smith missed the cut, set at four under.

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    The American produced a fine finish at Club de Golf Chapultepec, birdieing four of his remaining seven holes on his way to a four-under 67 in the final round.

    Reed finished at 18 under, a shot clear of Bryson DeChambeau, who carded a six-under 65.

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    Reed made three straight birdies from holes 15 to 17 to grab control, closing out victory despite a bogey at the par-four 18th.

    "It's very rewarding," he told NBC.

    "My team and I we've worked so hard through the end of last year and also the beginning of this year and we kept on feeling like we were playing some good golf, just we weren't quite able to get over that hump.

    "To come back and win my second World Golf Championship, especially with how I had to finish basically 15 onwards. The last hole was ugly but it was what I needed just to get the job done and at the end of the day just putting yourself in these positions on Sunday is just unbelievable, it's a great feeling.

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    Spaniard Jon Rahm (67) and South African Erik van Rooyen (70) finished tied for third at 15 under.

    World number one Rory McIlroy could only manage a closing three-under 68 to end up fifth a further shot back.

    Overnight leader Justin Thomas struggled to a two-over 73 that saw him finish tied for sixth alongside Hideki Matsuyama (67) and Tyrrell Hatton (68).

    Thomas made three bogeys on his front nine before adding a double-bogey at the par-four 10th and dropping another shot at 13.

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    Erik van Rooyen and Patrick Reed head the chasing pack after both signed for 67s at the Club de Golf Chapultepec.

    Van Rooyen had moved into contention at the halfway stage with a 62 that tied the course record – but Rahm went one better to climb to 11 under.

    The Spaniard made a brilliant start with birdies at six of his first seven holes and following three more after the turn, he produced a stunning hole-in-one at the par-three 17th, his tee shot dropping into the cup on the second bounce.

    "With the start I had today, the only thing in mind was trying to get as close as possible to the leaders," Rahm – whose solitary blemish during a spectacular day came at the eighth – said after the lowest score of his professional career.

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    Rahm is tied for fourth alongside Ryder Cup team-mate Rory McIlroy (68) and halfway leader Bryson DeChambeau, who followed up Friday's 63 with a 71 that included a double-bogey seven after finding water at the sixth.

    Englishmen Tyrrell Hatton and Paul Casey are a further shot back on 10 under.

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    DeChambeau produced a putting masterclass to move top of the leaderboard after two rounds with an eight-under-par 63.

    The American golfer had seven birdies in an eight-hole stretch as he lit up Club de Golf Chapultepec.

    DeChambeau finished with nine birdies and just one bogey to be 11 under and clear of countryman Patrick Reed (63) and South African Erik van Rooyen (62).

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    Birthday boy Van Rooyen, 30, tied the course record with his sizzling and flawless second round, which included nine birdies.

    Justin Thomas (66) dropped two positions to nine under as he ended the second day tied for fourth alongside Hideki Matsuyama (64).

    World number one Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, lost top spot following his two-under-par 69.

    Carrying a two-shot lead into the second round, McIlroy was unable to replicate his first-round 65 as the Northern Irishman slipped three strokes off the pace.

    Bubba Watson – a three-time runner-up – is three under through 36 holes after his 72, while defending champion Dustin Johnson (71) and struggling Jordan Spieth (73) are both five over and tied for 60th.

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