Friday, July 20, 2018

Leader Swafford closes round before rain

LA QUINTA, Calif. — Hudson Swafford shot his second straight 7-under 65 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge, finishing as an afternoon storm hit the desert layouts.

Winless in his four-year PGA career, Swafford has 14-under 130 following a bogey-free round on the Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West after opening Thursday at La Quinta Country Club.

"Managed to keep the ball in the fairway," Swafford said. "That gives you a lot of nice approach shots into greens. I'm driving the ball beautifully."

First-round leader Dominic Bozzelli and Danny Lee were tied for second (131). Bozzelli (67) and Lee (64) both played La Quinta.

Tee times were moved up an hour, and Swafford finished before the storm rolled in over the San Jacinto Mountains.

"I had a full rain suit, five towels in the bag," Swafford said. "My caddie was griping all day about how heavy it was. But I made a few birdies early and he said the bag was getting a little lighter."

Phil Mickelson got to use all of his rain gear, playing the final six holes in intermittent showers in the second-to-last group off the 10th tee on the Nicklaus course. Mickelson had 66 to reach 10-under 134 in his return from two hernia surgeries.

"I hit a lot more good shots (Friday) than I did (Thursday), but I'm still hitting some really bad ones," Mickelson said. "And that's fine. It's to be expected. I knew that was going to happen, but I've been able to kind of manage those and get away with some pars."

The 46-year-old Mickelson had surgery Oct. 19 and again Dec. 12.

EUROPE: Three-time winner Martin Kaymer shot a second straight 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead after the second round at the Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) Championship. Kaymer has 12-under 132, a stroke ahead Rafa Cabrera Bello. Kaymer won the tournament in 2008, 2010 and 2011. Dustin Johnson shot 68 to move to 4-under 140 overall, alongside Rickie Fowler (68).

CHAMPIONS: Opening-round leader Bernhard Langer stayed in front with four birdies in his last five holes for 7-under 65 in the second round and 15-under 129 overall at the Mitsubishi Championship in Hualalai, Hawaii. Fred Couples (65) is a stroke back at 130. John Daly, coming off an opening-round 65, fell back to 23rd place with 73 (138).