Sunday, December 17, 2017
Sports

Dufner's chip-in puts him at top

IRVING, Texas — Standing over his ball in a swale behind the 18th green, Jason Dufner would have been content with a par and a spot in the big group tied for the lead in the Byron Nelson Championship.

Instead, Dufner had the lead to himself Friday. He finished by chipping in from 37 feet, his fourth birdie in five holes, after driving wide right and having his approach roll over the green.

"No, that wasn't in the thought process," Dufner said. "Pretty lucky for it to go in, but that's part of golf. Sometimes you get those breaks."

His second long chip-in capped 4-under 66 for a two-round total of 133. Dufner was a shot up on six players, including fifth-ranked Matt Kuchar, who won the Players Championship last week.

Dufner got married the week after his first PGA Tour victory at New Orleans last month and returned to play last week.

Kuchar shot 68 to join first-round leader Ryan Palmer (70), Chad Campbell (66), Pat Perez (67), Dickey Pride (68) and Marc Leishman (69) at 6 under.

Kuchar had two bogeys and a double bogey early, but he had five birdies without another bogey over his final 12 holes.

The only other top-10 player in the field is Phil Mickelson, who was six strokes out after 69. He had double bogey on No. 18 after his tee shot went in the water and, after a drop, his approach went over the green.

"I hit it terrible (Friday), there was no other way around it," he said. "I've just got some mechanical issues where I was not striking the ball very solid."

LPGA: Stacy Lewis, the top American left in the Sybase Match Play Championship, won the first four holes and rolled to a 4-and-3 decision over Sandra Gal in the second round in Gladstone, N.J. Cristie Kerr, last year's runnerup and the No. 5 ranked player, was ousted along with No. 7 Jiyai Shin and No. 14 Karrie Webb. Top-ranked Yani Tseng beat American Katie Futcher and No. 2 Na Yeon Choi ousted fellow South Korean Jenny Shin.

WORLD MATCH PLAY: Top seed Martin Kaymer was bounced in Casares, Spain, losing by 1 hole to Richard Finch. American Brandt Snedeker was reunited with his clubs, which were lost Monday amid an emergency landing during his flight. He lost to Branden Grace but tied for first in his group and won a three-way playoff to reach the final 16.

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