Bryson DeChambeau felt like he shot 15 over after the American star failed to live up to his own hype at the Masters.

DeChambeau stormed to his maiden major success at the U.S. Open in September but was unable to replicate his Winged Foot success in Georgia this week, finishing two-under-par at Augusta, where Dustin Johnson reigned supreme.

The 27-year-old vowed to play the iconic par-72 course as if it were a par-67, yet found himself scrambling to make the cut on Saturday after opening efforts of 70 and 74.

Renowned for his huge drives off the tee, DeChambeau seemed pent up throughout the tournament, and dropped 18 shots in total, including a triple bogey on day two.

DeChambeau managed to card in the 60s on just one occasion from his four rounds, ultimately finishing tied for 34th place and 18 strokes adrift of champion Johnson on Sunday.

Reflecting on his performance, DeChambeau lamented an opportunity missed, labelling it as "one of those weeks".

"At the beginning of the week I felt like I could have a great chance to win the tournament if I just played my game," DeChambeau told a news conference. 

"Shoot, I made enough birdies this week and eagles to have a chance to win. There's no doubt about that. 

"I made way too many mistakes that I've got to talk about with my caddie and go, hey, how do we not make these mistakes anymore, how can we work better as a team to have that not happen?

"At Winged Foot we did a great job of it. This week we didn't. We didn't place it in the right places and I mis‑hit a lot of shots that usually are pretty easy for me. 

"Numerous factors that were in play, but to have all this adversity and to still finish it off somewhat decent and be under par for the week is great, even though I feel like I shot 15 over for the week, really, to be honest with you. 

"It was one of those things, one of those weeks."

DeChambeau also claimed he had been feeling slightly off-kilter during his rounds.

"I've got to fix whatever is going on up here," DeChambeau said. "I have no idea. Just dizziness. It's only when I go from down to up, so I can't even like think and talk right now.

"But that's just what happens, I go down and up and my brain gets all disoriented. I've got to fix that, and once I fix it I'll be even better than now, and when something arises in the future, I'll just keep trying to fix it.

"I'm hydrated, everything is fine. It's just about orientation. There were numerous times where I was over it and I just felt super uncomfortable. 

"I couldn't see anything. I couldn't see the line. It was really weird. I missed a lot of putts today."

Jon Rahm moved into a five-way share of the lead when the second round of The Masters was completed and Bryson DeChambeau only just avoided missing the cut on Saturday.

Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Abraham Ancer and Cameron Smith topped the leaderboard after completing 36 holes before play was halted in fading light at Augusta on Friday.

Rahm holed a short birdie putt when he resumed at the 13th hole to join that quartet and the world number two remained at nine under after signing for a 66 following five consecutive pars.

The composed Spaniard chipped in from the edge of the green at 15 to remain a joint-leader of a major that is finely poised on moving day.

DeChambeau was in danger of making an early exit, but sneaked in for the rest of the weekend by the skin of his teeth, moving just about the cut line despite finishing with back-to-back bogeys to sign for a 74.

Pre-tournament favourite DeChambeau, who revealed a COVID-19 test he took after playing on Friday as he was feeling dizzy came back negative, faced an anxious wait to see if the cut line would be moved but the U.S. Open champion was able to breathe a sigh of relief.

Patrick Reed moved into the top 10 after heading back out for an early start, picking up a couple of shots to sit in contention on eight under with a second successive four-under 68.

Defending champion Tiger Woods is just four shots off the pace on a congested leaderboard following a second round of 71, a birdie at 15 moving him on to five under.

Justin Rose, the leader at the end of a weather-affected first day, carded a two-under 70 and is two shots adrift of the leaders.

 

Bryson DeChambeau faces a challenge to make the cut at this year's Masters as four players shared the lead at the end of day two at Augusta. 

Masters debutant Abraham Ancer, Cameron Smith, Justin Thomas and world number one Dustin Johnson are all on nine under at the top of a congested leaderboard. 

However, after his difficulties on day one drew plenty of attention, DeChambeau is in real danger of missing out on playing in the final two rounds in Georgia at the rearranged major. 

Having proclaimed he was going to play Augusta as if it was a par 67, DeChambeau carded a 70 in his opening round but had slipped back to one over for the tournament when play was halted due to bad light. 

DeChambeau will need to be inside the top 50 including ties to sit the right side of the cut line, though he made a dismal start on Friday when he hit a triple bogey on the third. 

The U.S. Open champion dropped further shots at the fourth, fifth and seventh, though that error was wedged between two birdies in an up-and-down front nine. 

Yet another bogey followed on the 10th, but DeChambeau closed out for the day with a birdie on the 12th and launched a drive over the trees to leave himself in with a great chance of an eagle on the par-five 13th when he returns to finish off his round.

Jon Rahm, meanwhile, looks well set to make it a five-way share for the lead when he starts again on Saturday, having left himself a six-foot putt for birdie on the 13th green. 

Overnight leader Paul Casey dropped his first shot of the day with a bogey at the 10th - he sliced his third right across the green - to sit on six under through 12 holes, while Lee Westwood moved himself back to three under before the hooter went. 

Tiger Woods was in indifferent form through his opening nine holes as he remained on four under, while Hideki Matsuyama is just one stroke off the lead with three to play thanks to a birdie on the 15th, with Sungjae Im and Patrick Cantlay also on eight under.

Brooks Koepka enjoyed a strong finish to his round, successive birdies on his final two holes moving the former world number one to five under. 

"I need to clean it up for the weekend if I want to win. No three putts," he told Sky Sports. "I feel fine, I am glad to be done, go put my feet up, go work out – not that excited as I have got legs today, it's going to be a long day. 

"My body feels great, just need to clean up those sloppy mistakes."

Dustin Johnson managed to maintain a share of the Masters lead as he recovered from successive bogies, while Rory McIlroy responded to a frustrating opening 75 with a superb second round.

After finishing his first round with 65 early on day two, world number one Johnson was back out swiftly at Augusta National, and struck three birdies in his first four holes to move to nine under.

However, consecutive bogies on the 14th and 15th -– his fifth and sixth – set the 36-year-old back.

Cameron Smith and Masters debutant Abraham Ancer capitalised, with respective efforts of 68 and 67 to nose themselves ahead, while Justin Thomas joined them with a three-under 69.

Thomas made it a three-way share of the lead by following a precise iron onto the ninth green with a clinical putt for a birdie. 

Yet Johnson rallied on his back nine, keeping his composure to maintain par throughout before a four-foot birdie on the 18th ensured a four-way tie for the lead.

While Johnson was flying early on Friday, McIlroy's first round was a dismal one, but the Northern Irishman bit back with a flawless 66 – including five birdies – to put himself in a great position to make the cut at three under. 

WILLETT FINDS HIS RHYTHM

Patrick Cantlay is in tied-second on eight under, ahead of British trio Danny Willett, Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Rose. Dylan Frittelli followed an opening 65 with 73, though at six-under he is well in contention heading into the weekend.

Willett has made the cut for the first time since winning the Masters, with his 66 his best round at Augusta, while Fleetwood matched the 2016 champion with a 15-foot putt on the 18th.

"Things felt pretty good coming into the week," Willett told Sky Sports. "Nice memories, you get nice vibes. The course is obviously playing very different to what we know it can play like.

"The scoring will continue to get really good as the day goes on. The weather's perfect, the greens are as good as they can be.

"Me, Patrick Reed and Jordan [Spieth] are the only champions under 40. It's still surreal, still an amazing place to come to. An incredibly special place."

NIGHTMARE STARTS FOR WOODS AND DECHAMBEAU

Bryson DeChambeau's bullish build-up seems to have backfired. He labelled Augusta a par 67, yet he found himself two over five holes into his second round.

After birdieing his second, DeChambeau endured a miserable time on the third, losing his ball before chipping beyond the hole and down the slope, taking a further two shots to find the pin.

That moved the U.S. Open champion back to level par, and more frustration followed with successive bogeys, though he pulled a shot back on the sixth.

Looking to build on a solid 72 from day one, Tiger Woods found the hole in four on the par-five second, having been inches away from converting a chip for eagle.

Yet the five-time champion missed a simple putt on the next hole, dropping his first shot of the week from around 15 feet.

Day one of Bryson DeChambeau's driving assault on Augusta did not go exactly to plan.

All eyes were on the U.S. Open champion as he teed off from the 10th on Thursday as the favourite to win this year’s Masters, armed with an attack plan that had been the source of much discussion.

Would the PGA Tour's longest driver, as he suggested, look for the 14th fairway from the 13th tee? Could he possibly even drive the green from the first? Nick Faldo promised to run naked through the iconic course if the latter came to pass.

There was no doubting DeChambeau's ambition in the opening round, but the aggressive approach initially appeared flawed and his improved putting had to come to the rescue on more than one occasion.

DeChambeau met his match early, scrambling to make par at the 11th and 14th after frequenting the trees but double-bogeying the 13th.

The tide steadily turned, however, with DeChambeau still relying on a series of hefty tee shots, even if his drive at the first pulled left and allowed Faldo, in attendance as a CBS analyst, to keep his clothes on.

It was a tumultuous round for the most part and yet, by the time he returned to the clubhouse, the 27-year-old had a two-under 70, still very much in contention.

"I'm very happy with the patience I delivered to the course today," DeChambeau said.

"I tried to take on some risk. It didn't work out as well as I thought it would have, but I'm proud of the way I handled myself and finished off.

"Birdieing eight and nine was a testament to my focus level and wanting to contend here."

Of his double-bogey setback, he added: "I just didn't draw it around the corner enough and I got greedy.

"This golf course, as much as I'm trying to attack it, it can bite back. It's still Augusta National and it's the Masters. It's an amazing test of golf no matter what way you play it."

Not among those past champions but leading the way early on was Paul Casey, a bogey-free round boosted by an eagle at the second to finish on 65.

Casey finished in a tie for second at the US PGA Championship and suggested playing majors during the coronavirus pandemic is easier than a standard tournament.

"I didn't know how this was going to be, playing in a pandemic without fans," he told Sky Sports. "To be honest, I still don't like it, I miss the energy.

"But the majors we've played – Harding Park, Winged Foot, now Augusta – you can sense there's a buzz among the players. It's been that difference that has led to my good golf in the bigger championships.

"I want people to be pouring through the gates and enjoying watching myself and others play golf. But until that happens, I'm trying to make the most of it this week."

Tiger Woods, the defending champion, might yet have his say. He too finished flawless on 68 after birdies at the 13th, 15th, 16th and first.

Tiger Woods made a promising start to the defence of his title and Paul Casey took an early lead in The Masters on Thursday

Woods sensationally won a 15th major title at Augusta last year and the legendary American was just two shots off the lead through 10 holes in his first round.

The 44-year-old birdied the 13th, 15th and 16th after starting on the back nine and moved to four under with another gain at the first after play was suspended for almost three hours due to heavy rain in Georgia.

Casey jumped to the top of the leaderboard on six under with an eagle three at the second, the Englishman's 11th hole of his opening round.

He set that up with a magnificent booming drive off the tee, sending his second shot to around four feet of the hole and then making no mistake with the putter.

Four birdies in his opening seven holes on the back nine had left Casey well poised early on before he replaced Webb Simpson as the leader.

Simpson was five under through 14 holes, while Lee Westwood, Jon Rahm and Louis Oosthuizen were just a further stroke back alongside Woods.

Rahm dropped shots at two of his first three holes but made an impressive recovery, while tournament favourite Bryson DeChambeau - playing in the same group as the Spaniard - was one under having similarly rallied after double-bogeying the 13th.

Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka are among the big names due to go out later in the day and facing the prospect of having to return on Friday to complete their first rounds due to the miserable morning weather.

Bryson Dechambeau started the Masters with contrasting back-to-back pars but Xander Schauffele got off to a flyer after play was suspended for almost three hours at Augusta on Thursday.

There was another frustrating wait at the start of a major that was put back seven months due to the coronavirus pandemic, as inclement weather brought the players off the course just after the first round had got under way.

When play resumed at 10.20am local time in Georgia following heavy downpours, it was Canadian Corey Conners who came up with the first birdie.

Tournament favourite Dechambeau, starting his quest for a second major title on the back nine, had a putt for a birdie on the 10th but saw his putt jump from left to right.

The U.S. Open champion had to scramble to avoid a bogey at the par-four 11th after his tee shot went into the woods, sinking a seven-foot putt and the American remained level par through three holes.

Jon Rahm, playing in the same group as Dechambeau, was two over after back-to-back bogeys.

Schauffele could not have wished for a better start on the front nine, reeling off birdies at each of the opening three holes to lead the way.

The 62-year-old Larry Mize, Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson and Scottie Scheffler were two under early on.

 

 

Rory McIlroy has no problem heading to Augusta as an apparent outsider, with Bryson DeChambeau seemingly the man to beat as the Northern Irishman attempts to end his wait for Masters glory.

McIlroy is still pursuing a first green jacket that would complete a career Grand Slam, a feat that has only been achieved by five players.

His chances of getting that breakthrough win at this year's unique November Masters are widely considered to be remote, however, as the former world number one has just two top-10 finishes in 12 events since the sport returned in June amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The focus this week is instead on DeChambeau, the favourite after victory at the U.S. Open, but that suits McIlroy.

"I do prefer that. I like it," said the four-time major champion. "I've always liked sort of doing my own thing and trying to stay as low‑key as possible.

"Sometimes the way I've played over the years, that hasn't happened because I've won some tournaments and I've been on some pretty good runs at times.

"But I don't mind this. This is nice. It feels like everything this year, it's more subdued, it's more relaxed. That's the feel for me, anyway.

"Obviously Bryson is going to be feeling a little different because the attention is on him - and deservedly so, coming off the back of a major win and basically disrupting the game of golf over the last few months.

"It's a big story and I'm just as intrigued as everyone else to see how that unfolds."

McIlroy was referring to DeChambeau's change in playing style, with the 27-year-old bulking up to add extra power to his game.

DeChambeau is now comfortably the longest driver on the PGA Tour this season, averaging 344.4 yards per drive, 46.2 yards above the average.

The move has paid dividends with two wins - including a first major success - and seven top-10 finishes since June, which included contending at the US PGA Championship, where he was tied for fourth.

DeChambeau's ability to drive the ball has prompted suggestion he could make a mockery of the iconic Augusta course and alter the future of golf, but McIlroy is not concerned.

"I don't share that concern," said McIlroy, whose game "feels pretty good".

"If you look at Bryson's strokes gained numbers at the U.S. Open [22.37], strokes gained around the green [5.42] and strokes gained putting [4.59] was better than strokes gained off the tee [5.38].

"He did drive it really well, but at the same time you need to back that up with all other aspects of your game.

"If trophies were handed out just for how far you hit it and how much ball speed you have, then I'd be worried. But there's still a lot of different aspects that you need to master in this game."

He added: "I still think this golf course provides enough of a challenge to challenge the best players in the world."

The enforced rescheduling of the 2020 Masters promises to make this year's tournament at Augusta National even more unpredictable than it always is.

Augusta's beauty is not borne just from its colourful, blooming azaleas (albeit they will have a far more Autumnal look this year). No, it is the way year after year it can chew up and spit out the greatest golf has to offer, providing drama at every turn.

With the coronavirus crisis meaning the battle for the green jacket was postponed from its traditional spot of April to November, it is more difficult than ever to try and pick a winner.

But six of Stats Perform News' finest have had a go at doing so ahead of the action getting underway, without fans, on Thursday.

THE TIME HAS COME FOR XANDER – Dan Lewis

After ending as runner-up last year and finishing in the top five in half of his major appearances, the time has come for Xander Schauffele to land his first big title. He was one of six players to have the lead at some point during the final round in 2019 and, with a year's more experience under his belt, he enters this tournament in good stead.

HATTON CAN COMPLETE JOURNEY FROM WANNABE TO SUPERSTAR – Jon Fisher

Winner of the European Tour's flagship event at Wentworth in October, Tyrrell Hatton appears in great shape to do the same on the other side of the pond. He doesn't possess the greatest record at Augusta with a finish of 44th his best in three attempts but an accurate long game and deft touch around the greens make him well-placed to crown a breakthrough 2020. Don't be surprised to see him donning the Green Jacket on Sunday to complete his transformation from petulant wannabe to global superstar.

THIS IS DUSTIN'S YEAR AT AUGUSTA – Chris Myson

World number one Dustin Johnson is yet to win the Masters but has placed in the top 10 in each of his last four Augusta appearances, including his tie for second last year, while he was cruelly denied in 2017 when he fell down a staircase ahead of the event. This could finally be his year, with Johnson in fine form: six straight top-10s included winning the Northern Trust and impressive showings at the other two majors.

DECHAMBEAU PRIMED TO GO BACK-TO-BACK – Peter Hanson

It was always likely to be a case of when not if Bryson DeChambeau became a major winner and now the man dubbed 'The Mad Scientist' has overcome that mental hurdle by dominating at the U.S. Open, there is no reason to suggest he cannot go back-to-back in the majors. A bulkier DeChambeau averaged the longest driving distance off the tee in the 2020 PGA Tour season (322.1 yards) and already leads the statistics in the 2021 campaign (344.4), albeit having only played eight rounds. Augusta is not exactly a course you can just blitz – you need touch around the green, solid putting and the ability to scramble – but it is certainly going to do his chances no harm.

WINGED FOOT WAS A BLIP, RAHM WILL CONTEND AT AUGUSTA – Joe Wright

He might have had a disappointing time at the U.S. Open in September, but there's little reason to discount Rahm from challenging for a maiden major this week. The Spaniard triumphed at the Memorial Tournament and the BMW Championship following the PGA Tour's return, making 2020 the most successful year of his career. While finishing 23rd at Winged Foot was frustrating, Rahm was just a stroke behind winner Patrick Cantlay at the Zozo Championship last month, hitting 11 of 13 fairways and 14 of 18 greens in regulation in an impressive final round.

BEING UNDER THE RADAR MIGHT SUIT MCILROY – Timothy Abraham

Rory McIlroy heads into his 12th Masters a little out of sorts. The Northern Irishman has slipped down the rankings, from first to fifth, since golf restarted after lockdown. He finished 21st at the CJ Cup and 17th at the Zozo Championship last month, results that do not exactly bode particularly well form wise. But without any of the usual pre-Masters hype, the pressure will firmly be off the 31-year-old heading to Augusta. McIlroy's last win at a major came with a second PGA title in 2014, but that elusive green jacket might just come out of the blue.

Tiger Woods is taking part in the Masters with the intention of retaining his title and will use the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Fred Couples and Bernhard Langer as inspiration.

Woods produced a remarkable display to end an 11-year wait for his 15th major title in last year's event at Augusta National.

He also won the Zozo Championship in October 2019 but has since struggled for form, finishing in a tie for 37th at the US PGA Championship and missing the cut at the U.S. Open.

Now just a month shy of his 45th birthday, Woods is not giving up on matching Nicklaus' record six Masters victories and will aim to use his advancing years to his benefit.

"Do I expect to contend? Yes, I do," he said at a pre-tournament news conference on Tuesday.

"You look at Freddie and Bernhard - they are in their 60s and they seem to contend. Jack contended here when he was, what, 58?

"It can be done. This is a golf course in which having an understanding of how to play and where to miss it and how to hit the shots, it helps.

"The golf course keeps getting longer, and it gets a little bit more difficult as I've got older and I don't quite hit it as far.

"When I first came here it was a lot of drivers and a lot of wedges. Now it's different and I'm hitting longer clubs into the holes but understanding how to play it definitely helps.

"That's one of the reasons why you see past champions, like I mentioned Freddie and Bernhard, to be able to contend so late in their careers, and hopefully I'll be one of those."

Woods has been grouped with Open champion Shane Lowry and U.S Amateur Championship winner Andy Ogletree for the first two rounds of his Masters defence.

Pre-tournament favourite Bryson DeChambeau will play alongside Louis Oosthuizen and Jon Rahm, who produced a remarkable hole-in-one in a practice session on Tuesday.

DeChambeau's incredible driving length is a hot topic of debate ahead of the rescheduled event and Woods was full of praise for the big-hitter.

"Bryson has put in the time, he has put in the work," Woods said. "What he's done in the gym has been incredible.

"What he's done on the range and what he's done with his entire team to be able to optimise that one club [driver] and transform his game and the ability to hit the ball as far as he has and in as short a span as he has, it's never been done before.

"I had speed in '97, I hit it far. As I got bigger and I filled out and tried to get stronger, it was to not hit the ball further. It was to be more consistent and to be able to practice longer.

"What Bryson has done has been absolutely incredible, and we have all been amazed at what he's been able to do in such a short span of time. It's never been done before."

DeChambeau is toying with using a 48-inch driver this week but accepts his chances of repeating his U.S. Open success at Augusta will not be solely down to how far he can hit the ball.

"I am not 100 per cent sure if I will put it in play yet because of the unknown, with it being so close to the Masters," he said.

"But if it is an improvement on every facet of launch conditions, then I don't see why not?

"I can hit it as far as I want to, but it comes down to putting and chipping. That is one of the things I think sometimes people struggle to see.

"If I don't putt it well at the U.S. Open, don't wedge it well, don't hit my irons close, I don't win that tournament."

Tiger Woods' competition at the Masters this year is too fierce for the defending champion to "flip a switch" and return to contention, according to Nick Faldo.

Woods ended an 11-year wait for his 15th major as he triumphed at Augusta last April.

The 44-year-old subsequently won the ZOZO Championship in October 2019 but has since struggled for form.

Battling back problems, Woods finished in a tie for 37th at this year's US PGA Championship and missed the cut at the 2020 U.S. Open.

Faldo, a three-time Masters champion, does not expect last year's Augusta winner to suddenly rediscover his best form this week.

"Unfortunately, things are just more difficult for Tiger," he said. "He's a little bit older and the back hasn't been good.

"His back rules his everything - golf and life, probably. It rules his practice - that's very important. He cannot stand and hit putts like he used to, he can't put the work in.

"He certainly hasn't put the competitive reps in and he hasn't had the results. Everything is a challenge this week, the weather conditions, a physical walk.

"The bottom line is it's an extremely difficult test for Tiger this week to rekindle that amazing magic from last year.

"Can you flip a switch and say, 'I'll just have the greatest emotional week of possibly my career', showing his children he could still be a champion?

"I don't believe he could flip the switch on that. There's too many good players. There's 10 guys or more who are very long hitters, which is going to be key."

That brought Faldo onto Bryson DeChambeau, the longest driver on the PGA Tour, who was joint-fourth at the US PGA and won the U.S. Open, his first major success.

DeChambeau is among the favourites for the Masters and Faldo said: "He is a completely different animal, literally right now. He's spearheading the whole distance debate.

"But I'm a fan of his. He's done it physically and he's applied the science."

Faldo is less optimistic of Rory McIlroy's chances of finally ending his wait for a career grand slam at Augusta, where there will be no patrons.

The absence of spectators this year amid the coronavirus pandemic has coincided with a tough run of form for McIlroy.

"Rory seems like he's been one of the players who's suffered from a lack of atmosphere," Faldo said. "Rory feeds off that.

"He hasn't played his best, hasn't managed to get completely on a fantastic run."

Martin Laird reigned supreme at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open after winning a three-way play-off on Sunday.

Scottish golfer Laird birdied the second play-off hole to pip Austin Cook and Matthew Wolff to the title at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.

It ended Laird's seven-year wait for a fourth PGA Tour trophy, having last won the Texas Open in 2013.

The triumph was also Laird's second Shriners Hospitals for Children Open crown, 11 years after capturing his first, as he became the first player to win on Tour competing as a sponsor exemption since Wolff in 2019.

A play-off was needed after Laird (68), and American duo Cook (66) and Wolff (66) finished tied at 23 under – three strokes clear – through 72 holes following four rounds.

Laird had led by three shots following a memorable moment on the ninth hole, where he holed an incredible eagle.

Wolff has now finished runner-up in each of his last two starts and three of his last 10, including second spot at the U.S. Open.

Abraham Ancer finished in sole possession of fourth place at 20 under after posting a final-round 67, a stroke ahead of Peter Malnati (66), James Hahn (68) and Will Zalatoris (69).

U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau catapulted himself into a share of eighth place, five shots off the pace.

DeChambeau – the 2018 winner – holed an eagle, five birdies and two bogeys for a five-under-par 66 ahead of next month's rescheduled Masters.

Sergio Garcia (73) ended the event 12 under, alongside defending champion Kevin Na (76).

Martin Laird and Patrick Cantlay share the two-stroke lead heading into the final round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, where Bryson DeChambeau lost ground.

Scotsman Laird and American Cantlay both posted third-round 65s to top the leaderboard at the PGA Tour tournament in Las Vegas on Saturday.

The pair were part of the quintet tied for the lead at the halfway stage of the event, and they moved clear at TPC Summerlin.

Laird was bogey-free after sinking an eagle and four birdies, while Cantlay had six birdies to sit 20 under through 54 holes.

U.S. Open runner-up Matthew Wolff, Wyndham Clark (65), Brian Harman (67) and Austin Cook (67) are tied for third following the penultimate round.

Wolff posted his career-low score on the PGA Tour with a 10-under-par 61. Since 1983, he is the fifth player to make three eagles on either the front or back nine in a round on Tour, doing so on number 11, 13 and 15.

Defending champion Kevin Na and Will Zalatoris (64) – playing on a sponsor exemption – are three shots off the pace and share seventh position in the standings.

Na scored a bogey-free 64 as he looks to join Jim Furyk as the only back-to-back winners of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Former Masters champion Sergio Garcia (69) and Peter Malnati (71) – one of the overnight leaders – are among a group of players tied for 19th after sliding down the leaderboard.

Meanwhile, it was a tough day for in-form U.S. Open champion DeChambeau following his even-par-71.

DeChambeau was a shot adrift at the start of the day but the 2018 Shriners winner was unable to post his third consecutive round in the 60s after struggling on the front nine, where he had two double bogeys and two bogeys to go with three birdies.

The American had just three double bogeys or worse through his first 18 rounds at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, but he had two through six holes on Saturday.

Peter Malnati is among five players tied for the lead following the second round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Malnati, Martin Laird (63), Patrick Cantlay (65), Brian Harman (63) and Austin Cook (65) share the one-shot lead through 36 holes at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.

Friday's five-way tie atop the leaderboard after two rounds is the most on the PGA Tour since the 2019 Masters.

American golfer Malnati surged into contention, rising 20 positions, with a stunning career-low nine-under-par 62.

A one-time PGA Tour champion but without a title since 2015, Malnati was bogey-free as he holed an eagle and seven birdies.

U.S. Open champion and 2018 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open winner Bryson DeChambeau is a stroke further back at 13 under heading into the weekend.

DeChambeau – the overnight leader – posted a second-round 67, having opened the tournament with a flawless 62 on Thursday.

Eyeing next month's rescheduled Masters, DeChambeau only dropped one shot on day two, recording two eagles and a birdie to stay in the hunt.

Former Masters champion Sergio Garcia is among the players tied for seventh at 12 under following his seven-under-par 64.

Defending champion Kevin Na, meanwhile, carded back-to-back 66s to be four shots off the pace.

However, it was not a good day for the likes of Rickie Fowler (74) and former world number one Jason Day (72) after they missed the cut.

Bryson DeChambeau flexed his muscles as the U.S. Open champion seized a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the Shriners Hospital for Children Open.

DeChambeau – playing for the first time since breaking through for his maiden major last month – carded a bogey-free nine-under-par 62 on Thursday – the lowest opening round of his career.

The American star and 2018 Shriners Hospital for Children Open winner, who is already eyeing next month's rescheduled Masters, was flawless as he holed nine birdies at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.

Starting on the back nine, DeChambeau reeled off five successive birdies – starting on 15 – before closing out the round by birdieing the last.

"That's the advantage of power in this game now, that you can do those sorts of things ... I didn't make any of them, but it makes it easy. That's five birdies right there and it makes the golf course a lot easier," DeChambeau said afterwards, discussing his eagle chances.

"I would say that lowers the par to 67 out here, and that's just the number for me. If I shoot 69 or 70 I feel like I shot a couple over."

Fellow Americans Patrick Cantlay – the 2017 winner – Austin Cook, Harold Varner III, Scott Harrington and Nate Lashley are a shot off the pace heading into Friday's second round.

There are six players tied for seventh at seven under through 17 holes, while defending champion Kevin Na is four shots off the pace alongside the likes of Sergio Garcia.

Rickie Fowler ended the day tied for 32nd and five strokes behind DeChambeau.

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