Sam Burns fired the lowest round of his PGA Tour career to race into the halfway lead at the AT&T Byron Nelson in Dallas.
Burns, who broke into the world’s top 50 with his win at the Valspar Championship earlier this month, birdied six of the last eight holes to card a 10-under 62 and hit the front on 17 under par after another day of low scoring at TPC Craig Ranch.
Overnight co-leader Jordan Spieth struggled to overcome a “bad mood” as a 70 left him six off the pace, but Lee Westwood returned to form with a 64 getting him to nine under – two better than Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau – while Brooks Koepka will head to Kiawah Island earlier than scheduled after missing the cut.
The 24-year-old was three under through eight holes before making five birdies over the next six, including one at the 14th when he skied his tee shot and barely reached the fairway, atoning with a wedge to 17 feet and a perfect putt.
A birdie, birdie finish capped a superb day at the office, which he felt was just reward for all his hard work in practice, which he continued to devote himself to even after his impressive three-shot victory over Keegan Bradley at the Valspar Championship.
“The biggest thing for me is just seeing the hard work that we put in it, start seeing results from that,” he said. “A lot of times you don’t know how long the results are going to take. Golf is a fickle game!
Burns is clearly still high on confidence following his PGA Tour breakthrough victory in Tampa, and he put himself in prime position to make it back-to-back wins following his birdie frenzy on the inward nine.
Alex Noren emerged as Burns’ closest challenger after the Swede carded an eight-birdie 64, although he spurned a great chance to reduce the deficit to just one stroke when he missed a six-foot birdie putt on his final green.