CROMWELL, Conn.: Xander Schauffele shot his second straight 7-under 63 on Friday to take a five-shot lead in the Travelers Championship.
The Olympic champion shot a 31 on the front nine at TPC River Highlands with four birdies, then hit a 32 on the back, birdying at 11, 14 and 17.
He hit 33 of 36 greens in regulation time and is the only player in the tournament without a bogey. His closest call came close at the par-3 16th, where he hit his tee shot and found the rough behind a greenside bunker.
“It plays really interesting with the wind that’s swirling out there,” Schauffele said. “It was my least committed swing of the week and I’m really happy to get up and down there and save par.”
Kevin Kisner (64), Nick Hardy (64), defending champion Harris English (65), Cam Davis (66) and Patrick Cantlay (67) tied for second at 9 under. First-round leaders Rory McIlroy and JT Poston followed the opener from 62s with 70s down to lose six shots back.
Cantlay, who shot a 60 at TPC River Highlands as an amateur in 2011, played in the same morning group as English.
“(I’m) still here in this tournament and looking forward to the weekend,” Cantlay said. “I like the challenge, and that’s all you can do in golf is give yourself as many chances as possible.”
English, who won on the eighth hole of a playoff series last year, is playing in his third tournament since returning in May from Valentine’s Day surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip.
“The hardest thing is walking and playing,” English said. “I mean, I feel like at home I can go and hit a bunch of balls on the range, but going up and down those hills and being on my feet for five or six hours is the hardest part. hard. It’s getting better and better, and I feel like the more competitive rounds I play here, it’s just going to get stronger.
Hardy, starting on the back nine, has birdied four straight at 16, 17, 18 and 1. He is also coming back from injury after damaging the tendon in his left wrist in April.
“I was just in a good rhythm,” Hardy said. “It’s kind of been the name of the game for me since I came back. Just be in a good rhythm. I think I swing the club well and my mind is in good shape.
Kisner got lucky on the 15th when his tee shot went left and rolled towards the course’s signature lake before ending up hooked on a microphone cable inches from the water. He ended up saving the normal.
“Five shots aren’t insurmountable but I’m going to need (Schauffele) to slow down a bit,” Kisner said.
Schauffele, played a group ahead of McIlroy, who was still leading by a shot at 13 under before he ran into trouble on the 12th hole.
McIlory hit his tee shot left and out of bounds into the woods, then found the rough right deep on his next shot. He put the ball into a bunker on the green side from there, then escaped the green and into the rough again, before finishing with a quadruple bogey.
He left the hole trailing three shots, then found more trouble on the 15th. He went straight on his tee shot, finding the grass high, then ran his third shot onto the green, down the the hill and in the water. He finished this hole with a 6.
But he birdied on the 16th, finishing with an even par 70 when his birdie putt was canceled on the 18th.
“I should be closer to the lead,” he said. “I feel like I let a lot of guys in the golf tournament because of that.”
The last player to quad-bogey and win a PGA Tour event was Adam Scott at the 2016 Honda Classic. Scott put two water shots on the par-3 15th hole.
The cut was 2 under, with 2017 winner Jordan Spieth (1 over) dropping with Sam Burns (even par), Zach Johnson (4 over) and Jason Day (6 over).