Stroud soars with birdie binge
Playa Del Carmen - Chris Stroud reeled off eight birdies in a row - one shy of the PGA Tour record - to seize a three-shot lead Friday after two rounds of the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
Stroud had nine birdies on the day, including eight straight from the ninth hole on the par-71 El Camaleon course.
The American had opened with a birdie, but gave one shot back with a bogey at the par-four sixth hole, as he finished with an eight-under 63 for an 11-under total of 131.
"You can never get ahead of yourself," Stroud said. "Tomorrow is another day. I've got to come out and do the same thing tomorrow and look for a consistent routine and stick to my process, and whatever happens at the end of the week is where I end up."
Stroud, 29, hasn't won in five seasons on the US PGA Tour. His streak of birdies was one short of the record of nine straight set by Mark Calcavecchia in the second round of the 2009 Canadian Open at Glen Abbey.
"I was just trying to stay out of my own way," Stroud said. "I wasn't really thinking about it. I really had two good chances on 17 and 18, had about a 25-footer up the hill and then probably an 18-footer on 18.
"Seventeen, I left it a little short and I told myself, 'Let's just hit a good putt.' I hit a pretty good one, but it didn't break."
Australian Cameron Percy and American Kevin Stadler both carded 66s and South Korean Sunghoon Kang a 67 to share second on 134.
Australian Jarrod Lyle (66) and Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson (67) were among a group of seven players sharing fifth on seven-under 135.
Stroud launched his birdie binge by rolling in an eight-footer at the ninth. He made a 10-foot putt at the 10th and an 18-footer at 11.
At the par-four 12th he made a six-foot putt. At the par-five 13th his two-iron was short of the green and he had to chip on, but he made a four-footer.
He drained a 15-footer on 14, then hit an eight-iron to two feet on the par-three 15th and made that. He capped the run with another 25-footer at 16.
"Everybody knows it out here, it's all putting," said Stroud, who missed the cut in his last three starts. "Most of us hit it pretty well, and a lot of days when you don't hit that well and you putt and chip well, you're still going to make a pretty good score."
Notable names missing the cut in this event, which is played opposite the elite World Golf Championships Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona, included Australian Aaron Baddeley, who won the title last weekend in Los Angeles.
Scores on Friday after the second round of the PGA Tour $3.7 million Mayakoba Classic (USA unless noted):
131 - Chris Stroud 68-63
134 - Kevin Stadler 68-66, Sunghoon Kang (KOR) 67-67, Cameron Percy (AUS) 68-66
135 - Johnson Wagner 69-66, Fredrik Jacobson (SWE) 68-67, Jarrod Lyle (AUS) 69-66, Billy Horschel 70-65, William McGirt 68-67, Kent Jones 67-68, Spencer Levin 68-67
136 - David Toms 66-70, Mark Hensby (AUS) 66-70, Tommy Gainey 68-68
138 - Rory Sabbatini (RSA) 69-69
139 - Nick O'Hern (AUS) 70-69, Jhonattan Vegas (VEN) 74-65, Steven Bowditch (AUS) 71-68, David Hearn (CAN) 69-70, Richard S. Johnson (SWE) 68-71
140 - Rod Pampling (AUS) 70-70, Fabian Gomez (ARG) 69-71
141 - Alexandre Rocha (BRA) 67-74, Alejandro Canizares (ESP) 74-67
142 - Nathan Green (AUS) 73-69, Jose Manuel Lara (ESP) 72-70
Failed to qualify
143 - Bi-o Kim (KOR) 72-71, Aron Price (AUS) 72-71
145 - Oscar Serna (MEX) 70-75, Jesper Parnevik (SWE) 74-71
145 - Aaron Baddeley (AUS) 74-71, Thomas Cocha (ARG) 70-75, Jesper Parnevik (SWE) 74-71
146 - Carl Pettersson (SWE) 74-72
147 - Carlos Franco (PAR) 73-74
148 - Chris Baryla (CAN) 79-69, Matt McQuillan (CAN) 76-72, John Daly 73-75
149 - Andres Romero (ARG) 76-73
150 - Santiago Luna (ESP) 75-75
152 - Michael Sim (AUS) 73-79
155 - Inigo Urquizu (ESP) 84-71
159 - Efren Serna (MEX) 82-77