HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (AP) — FedEx Cup champion Patrick Cantlay birdied the final four holes on Friday for a 67-under-4 and took a two-shot lead over Robert Streb at halftime. RBC Heritage course.
After falling back with bogeys on the 11th and 14th holes, Cantlay turned the tables on the tougher stretch at Harbor Town Golf Links with the late birdie in a strong wind swirling off Calibogue Sound.
Cantlay had a total of 9 under 133.
Streb also had a 67. He looked like he was in position to take the weekend lead when he birdied No. 8 – his 17th hole of the day – to reach 7 under.
But Cantlay’s precise irons and hot putter brought him back to the top. The run started with a 13-foot-15 birdie putt. He caught Streb a hole later with a 10-footer. Cantlay stuck his tee shot on the par-3 17th within 8 feet for his birdie, then rolled in a 21-footer on the par-4 18th.
“Obviously it’s a dream finish,” Cantlay said. “I finally rolled in a few putts and it was really nice to see this weekend.”
Tour rookie Cameron Young went from his blistering 63 debut on Thursday to 73 on his second time around Harbor Town. Still, it was good enough to tie for third with Joel Dahmen, Cameron Tringale, Erik van Rooyen and Aaron Wise – three strokes behind Cantlay.
Dahmen, Tringale and van Rooyen had 67 seconds to tie Cantley and Streb for the low round of the day. round. Wise shot a 68.
Among the other six shots behind at 5 under were three-time major champion Jordan Spieth and former RBC winner Matt Kuchar. Spieth had a 68 and Kuchar shot 69. All in all, it looks like a weekend shootout with 33 players within six shots of Cantlay.
Cantlay’s consistent and conscious approach to golf seems made for Harbor Town. He had two-thirds and one-seventh in four appearances here and won $878,178.50 – and that’s without missing the cut a year ago.
Cantlay expects more wind and doesn’t expect to play much differently than he has done so far. “Just sticking with my game plan and continuing to leave the golf ball in the right places, which is paramount here, I think is key,” he said.
Streb, who last won the RSM Classic in November 2020, had a terrible experience at Harbor Town, missing the cup in four of his six career appearances. His best performance was a tie for 44th in 2015.
“I didn’t play fantastic in that place, so having it upwind was really good for me,” he said.
Young shot a bogeyless 63 on Thursday in his debut on the course, the 24-year-old making Pete Dye’s treacherous disposition look like a roadside pitch-and-putt. Young continued his stellar game with a birdie on his first hole, the 10th, to reach 9 under. Then, like so many before him, he felt the full fury of Harbor Town.
Young had bogeys on the 14th, 15th and 18th holes, then a double bogey on the par-3 fourth. Still, the rookie is just another solid round of contention for his first tour victory.
“I feel like I’m hitting really well and every time I have a chance to get in the fairway, even if it’s 20 yards out, I think I’m going to take a lot of those chances,” Young said.
The wind, with gusts of over 20 mph much of the course, had a significant impact. After only seven holes played over par on Thursday, 11 holes were over par on Friday.
A few draws won’t be there for the weekend.
South Carolina native and world No. 9 Dustin Johnson went 71-72 to shoot 1 over and fall to 0-10 in the PGA Tour events he played in his home state.
Cameron Smith, tied for third last week at Augusta National, also finished 1 to miss his first cut since the Sony Open in January. He shot 73-70.
Morgan Hoffmann, in his first PGA Tour event since October 2019 due to muscular dystrophy, also missed out, also finishing at 1 with rounds of 71 and 72.
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