Patrick Cantlay secured a one-shot lead on 14-under par ahead of Tom Hoge on the second day of the American Express in California on Friday.

The world number four followed up his impressive round of 62 on the opening day with a four-under 68 to hold the outright lead at the end of day two, with Hoge following up a first day 65 with another respectable round of 66 to sit on 13-under.

The best round of the day came from Will Zalatoris, who shot an 11-under 61 to move up 93 places to joint-third after having hit just 10 greens in his opening round 71.

The 25-year-old American managed 12 birdies, including each of his last seven holes to climb up the leaderboard, and now sits level on 12-under with fellow countrymen Lanto Griffin, Greyson Sigg, Cameron Young and Joseph Bramlett.

His drive on the final hole actually ended in the rough on the adjacent first hole, but he was still able to make birdie.

“I think today I just gave myself chances," Zalatoris said after his round. "I hit a lot close and made a couple 20, 30 footers to keep the round going and obviously... making birdie on nine from the wrong fairway is kind of the icing on the cake."

Sam Ryder, Roger Sloan, Zach Johnson and Paul Barjon ended their second rounds tied for eighth on 11-under. 

Meanwhile, Lee Hodges, who held the lead with Cantlay at the start of day two, could only muster an even-round of 72 and now finds himself tied for twelfth with 11 other competitors.

Among them is Sahith Theegala, who shot an eagle and eight birdies as part of a round of 62 to climb 98 places to inexplicably sit alongside the previous day's overnight joint-leader.

World number one Jon Rahm was unable to build on his steady first round of 66 as he hit five birdies and three bogeys during his 70 to sit tied for 32nd on eight-under.

Sahith Theegala is on track for his maiden PGA Tour title after claiming the outright lead following the third round of the Sanderson Farms Championship.

American rookie Theegala carded a five-under-par 67 to be a shot clear atop the leaderboard in Jackson, Mississippi on Saturday.

Theegala was tied for the lead after the opening two days, but the 23-year-old emerged as the player to beat thanks to a flawless penultimate round at the Country Club of Jackson, where he holed five birdies without dropping a shot.

Ranked 454th in the world, Theegala is 18 under through 54 holes, ahead of Cameron Tringale (62), Denny McCarthy (65), Sam Burns (67) and Cameron Young (67) – who are all tied for second position.

"I hit some wild drives, I mean, way right, so was really happy to escape with a couple pars," Theegala said afterwards.

"It just felt like a grind those last five, six holes there... definitely a little nerves in there for sure, but I think people have said before, pressure's a privilege and I'm trying to use those nerves to my advantage."

American Tringale matched his career-low round to take the provisional lead before Theegala soared to the summit.

Eyeing his first win in his 311st start on the PGA Tour, Tringale said: "This was a combination of hitting a lot of good shots and having good breaks just on the same day.

"I did give myself a lot of chances. I was never out of position. I was putting uphill most of the time. And a [55-footer] and a hole-out, you know, if I three-putt that one and don't get up-and-down, that's four shots difference right there."

Masters runner-up Will Zalatoris (72) dropped down to 13 under – five shots off the pace, having started the day tied for the lead.

Masters runner-up Will Zalatoris shot a course record 11-under 61 to move into a share of the lead at the Sanderson Farms Championship alongside Nick Watney and Sahith Theegala on Friday.

Zalatoris, Watney and day one leader Theegala are all 13 under at the halfway point, with American pair Cameron Young and Hayden Buckley one stroke behind at the Country Club of Jackson in Mississippi.

Sergio Garcia followed his Ryder Cup disappointment by failing to make the cut, with back-to-back rounds of 70.

Zalatoris, who finished one shot behind Hideki Matsuyama at the Masters in April, shot 11 birdies to steal the show on Friday.

The 25-year-old Californian had carded a two-under 70 in the opening round but rocketed up the leaderboard, buoyed by three birdies on his opening four holes on Saturday.

Zalatoris' round included sinking an 18-foot putt on the fourth and a 20 footer on the 18th.

"I think it's funny that I get given a hard time about my putting and if you add in Augusta last year which didn't have Shot Link I would have been a positive strokes gained putter," Zalatoris said. "Is it the prettiest? No. But am I productive? Yes.

"So the days where I make 20-footers, those are the days that I end up putting great round together, because I'm always going to be the guy that's going to hit 14 plus greens to give myself chances."

After Zalatoris' 11-under round, the next best was Young, Buckley and Denny McCarthy with seven-under 65s.

Canadian Roger Sloan is behind Young and Buckley at 11 under after two rounds, with American Sam Burns among a group of six at 10 under.

Maverick McNealy soared to the top of the leaderboard at the halfway stage of the Fortinet Championship, but John Rahm's PGA Tour season debut ended in the world number one missing the cut.

McNealy earned a two-stroke lead following the second round of the 2021-22 season opener at Silverado Country Club, where the 25-year-old American carded an eight-under-par 64.

It is McNealy's lowest opening 36-hole score (68-64) on the PGA Tour.

However, Spanish star Rahm failed to qualify for the weekend after back-to-back rounds in the 70s in Napa, California.

Tuning up for the Ryder Cup, Rahm – who missed Wednesday's pro-am due to a stomach ailment, having placed second in the FedEx Cup play-offs – never got going, an opening-round 72 followed by a 71 as he finished one under, below the three-under cut line.

"I get to rest a couple extra days and be able to figure out what's going on with my swing, which technically is not really anything bad," said Rahm, who recorded his 13th missed cut in his 113th PGA Tour start, with his last missed cut at this year's Wells Fargo Championship.

"It's just I think a lot of those swings were made to look worse because of how tough it is out there."

Beau Hossler (64) and Mito Pereira (67) are tied for second and two shots adrift of McNealy heading into Saturday's third round, while Troy Merritt (68), Will Zalatoris (67) and Bronson Burgoon (67) are a stroke further back at nine under.

Rookie David Lipsky's second-round 64 was a nine-stroke improvement on his first round and a career-low round that included nine birdies, the most he has managed in a single round on Tour.

Lipsky is seven under through 36 holes, alongside the likes of Tom Hoge (66) and Peter Malnati (66), while Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama is a shot back following his three-under-par 69.

Six-time major champion Phil Mickelson posted a 69 to be tied for 24th and seven shots off the pace.

Will Zalatoris was frustrated to have finished second at The Masters, but the Augusta debutant basked in his "dream" week at the iconic major.

Zalatoris did not look out of place in his rookie Masters appearance, the 24-year-old earning the runners-up cheque, just a stroke behind history-making champion Hideki Matsuyama on Sunday.

Tied for sixth at last year's U.S. Open, Zalatoris – who had no status when the 2020-21 PGA Tour started in September as the coronavirus pandemic meant there was no Qualifying Tournament for the developmental Korn Ferry Tour in 2020 – catapulted himself into Masters contention.

Attempting to become the first player since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979 to win his Masters debut, Zalatoris carded a two-under-par 70 in the final round, which included five birdies and three bogeys.

Zalatoris, who now has six top-10 and 11 top-25 finishes in his 15 Tour starts this season, said: "Absolute dream. To be in a situation, I've been dreaming about it for 20 years.

"I thought I did a really good job this week of just enjoying the moment, but not letting it get to me. I think I kind of let everything soak in Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and then back to work on Thursday.

"So it was an absolute treat, and obviously to come up one short and be disappointed is motivating but obviously very exciting."

Zalatoris – the only player to shoot under par in all four rounds at this year's Masters – said: "I think the fact that I'm frustrated I finished second in my third major says something, and the fact that I didn't let any moment really get to me, was really exciting.

"And obviously my two majors as a pro, I finished sixth and runner-up. I know if I keep doing what I doing, I'm going to have a really good chance in the future."

"I've wanted to be on this stage for forever, for basically my entire life. So I think, if anything, it's like you finally get to this moment, and why shy away now? I've gotten here. So let's go do some damage. It was a fun week," Zalatoris continued.

"I can play with the best players in the world."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.