Saturday, April 20, 2024

The American Express: Sam Burns posts career-low round to vault into halfway lead in California -Dlight News

Sam Burns shot a second-round 61 as he took a one-shot halfway lead at The
American Express tournament in California.

Burns’ career-low round leaves him on 17 under, one shot ahead of fellow American Michael Kim with South Korea’s KH Lee with American amateur Nick Dunlap a further shot back.

A pair of eagles and seven birdies had put Burns in with a chance of breaking 60, but he could only par the last two holes.

Burns made eagle putts at the par-five fourth and 11th holes while adding a three-birdie run on the front nine and a four-birdie stretch on the back, teasing a possible 59 before finishing with two pars.

“On four I hit a really good tee shot in there, had five-iron in. Hit it to probably 15 feet or so, was able to make it. Then hit a good one off 11,” said Burns.

“Had a really good number, perfect seven-iron. Hit it in there close to three feet. Those were key holes today, for sure.”

Sam Burns
Image:
Sam Burns enjoyed one of the best days in his golf career so far on Friday

The 27-year-old, who has won five PGA Tour events since May 2021, must play his third round at the Stadium Course, considered the toughest of the three courses.

“I played well around there in the past, so, hopefully, try to kind of build on that, and go out there and just hit as many quality shots as possible, see if we can make some putts,” Burns said.

Kim piled up 10 birdies and just one bogey on the day. He’s in the hunt for his second career PGA Tour win five-and-a-half years after his first at the 2018 John Deere Classic.

“I’ve been really trying to focus more on the process, rather than the result,” Kim said. “Just making sure I get my fitness down the week before, some good practice, do what I need to do in the practice rounds. Hopefully, the results take care of themselves.”

K.H. Lee
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KH Lee is only a shot behind Burns and you can watch the third round on Saturday from 7pm on Sky Sports Golf

Amateur Dunlap is in the mix at 15 under through two rounds. His bogey-free 65 at the Stadium Course vaulted the 20-year-old into a tie for third with South Korea’s KH Lee.

A group of six, including American Ryder Cup star Patrick Cantlay and joint overnight leader Alex Noren of Sweden, sit on 14 under par. Ireland’s Shane Lowry shot a second-round of 67 to lie seven shots off the lead.

First-round co-leader Zach Johnson is at 13 under after a 69 with Justin Thomas shot on 12 under in his season debut and world No 1 Scottie Scheffler on 11 under.

Watch the third round of The American Express on Saturday from 7pm on Sky Sports Golf, with the tournament concluding on Sunday evening. Stream golf and more top sport with NOW.

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