Australia’s Marc Leishman holds a one-shot lead at 15-under following two rounds at the AT&T Byron Nelson outside of Dallas.
Leishman followed up his 10-under par 61 on Thursday with a 5-under 66 in the second round as he continues to thrive at the Trinity Forest Golf Club, the links-style course playing host to the event for the first time. His 127 total broke Tiger Woods’ 36-hole tournament record for the event that had been held at the TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas the previous 35 years.
Aaron Wise is one stroke back at 14-under after shooting a 63 on Friday. Wise played a bogey free second round that included an eagle and six birdies. He carded four birdies in a six-hole stretch on his second nine despite a 25-minute wait that he called “stressful.”
“You knew it was going to be tough today, the wind was up when we were warming up,” Wise told the Golf Channel. “Especially around here because there are no trees out there, nothing to really block it. You knew it was going to be a tough day, and we managed it really well.”
Brian Gay posted the low round of the day with a 9-under 62 and is two shots off the lead at 13-under. Texas resident Jimmy Walker and Eric Axley are tied for fourth another shot back.
Dallas native and Trinity Forest member Jordan Spieth is tied for 21st at 7-under. The top-ranked player in the field at No. 3 in the world, Spieth carded a 5-under 66 on Friday despite missing a one-foot putt. However, Spieth said he was more comfortable on the greens overall in the second round.
“I could see my lines better,” Spieth, who played in calmer conditions in the morning wave, told the Golf Channel. “I made an adjustment that I had be talking about making. I got on the course and just forgot about it yesterday. It’s really close, I feel a lot better about my game and the potential for the weekend after my round.”
Also at 7-under is No. 9 Hideki Matsuyama, the only other top-10 player in the field. The Japanese star was flirting with the cut line before birdies on four of his final five holes to post an 8-under 63.
Spain’s Sergio Garcia was unable to muster a similar run. The 14th-ranked part-time Texas resident is dealing with tendinitis in his left wrist and battled his way through a 2-under 69 that left him at 1-under and outside of the cut line for the tournament. Also at 1-under and not playing the weekend will be Texas native Ryan Palmer.
Meanwhile, the 21-year-old Wise is coming off his best career finish, a tie for second at the Wells Fargo Championship two weeks ago.
“This will be the second Saturday in a row I’m in the final group. To just put myself there at my age and get that experience is only going to suit me very well down the road.”
Spieth, who has played dozens of rounds on the course, predicted that Trinity Forest will play much more difficult over the weekend.
“It’s still firming up, the wind is going to pick up, it’s going to be difficult,”he said. “It’s going to start to change significantly on the weekend.”
Does he have a home-course advantage entering the final two rounds?
“Out on the course, you can kind of feel the momentum,” said Spieth. “On the back nine today you could kind of anticipate some bigger roars as the putts were about to go in. That’s always a lot of fun, so hopefully we can create a little bit of noise this weekend.”
NOTES: Ricky Barnes was disqualified for signing the wrong scorecard after shooting a 1-over 72 on Friday. He made a par on the par-4 sixth hole, but reportedly signed for a birdie 3. He was 3-over and was going to miss the cut as it stood. … Defending champion Billy Horschel is 10 shots off the lead at 5-under. … This is the final tournament for players to move into the top 60 of the world golf rankings and automatically qualify for the U.S. Open. The top 50 after this week will be exempt for the British Open.