Golf roundup: Smith and Blixt take the lead at Zurich Classic team event
Jonas Blixt and Cameron Smith posted a 10-under-par 62 in Friday’s four-ball format to move into the lead at the Zurich Classic, which is in its first year of a new team format.
Blixt and Smith have a two-day total of 15-under 129 to lead by one over Patrick Reed and Patrick Cantlay. The K.J Choi-Charlie Wi and Troy Merritt-Robert Streb pairings are tied for third at 13-under.
The four-ball format has each member of a two-man team playing his own ball throughout a round, with only the best score on each hole recorded. The same format will be used Sunday. The first and third rounds have an alternate-shot format.
The change from the alternate-shot approach produced much lower scores Friday.
The Zurich Classic was a standard individual tournament until changing formats this year. This marks the PGA Tour’s first official team event since the 1981 Disney Classic.
Nomura has one-shot lead in Texas
Haru Nomura shot a six-under 65 on Friday for a two-round total of 133 and a one-shot lead in the North Texas LPGA Shootout.
Ariya Jutanugarn is second following a 67 with Suzann Pettersen another shot behind. Moriya Jutanugarn, Ariya’s older sister, is fourth at 136 along with two-time tournament winner Inbee Park and Marina Alex.
Lexi Thompson, playing in her first tournament since a rules violation cost her a likely victory in the season’s first major three weeks ago, shot a 72 after birdieing three of the first five holes. She’s nine shots behind at 142.
First-round leader M.J. Hur also shot a 72 and trails by four strokes. Hur, who lives in McKinney, about 40 miles from the Las Colinas Country Club course, led after 18 holes last year and tied for second place.
Larrazabal ahead by three in China
Pablo Larrazabal fired a six-under 66 to take a three-stroke lead halfway through the China Open.
Larrazabal, who started the second round one stroke off the lead, offset a lone bogey with five birdies and an eagle on the par-four 11th to finish at 14 under.
Dylan Frittelli had the lowest score of the round with a 63 and was tied for second at 11 under with overnight leader Alexander Levy, who shot a 70 in the second round.
Lee Soo-min was four shots off the pace in fourth place after a 65.
Thomas Detry (66) and George Coetzee (69) shared fifth spot. Bernd Wiesberger, who won last week’s Shenzhen International, was in the large group tied for eighth at seven under.