Friday's roundup: Putnam, Knox lead in Las Vegas

Associated Press

Las Vegas — Andrew Putnam birdied two of the last three holes Friday for a 6-under 65 and a share of the second-round lead with Russell Knox in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Putnam is played his fourth PGA Tour event. He earned his tour card this year through the Tour.

"It was a good round," said Putnam, who birdied all three par 5s. "I started off slow, one bogey, but played good out there. I played the par 5s well today, was able to take advantage of those."

Knox, from Scotland, had a 67 to match Putnam at 10-under 132 at TPC Summerlin. Knox had six birdies and two bogeys — on Nos. 2 and 3 — in the second round.

"I got a bit worried, though, because I was all over the map," Knox said. "I didn't feel real good with my swing, and I knew if I just made some pars, eventually something would click. And I made a couple putts, which really settled me down."

Andrew Svoboda and Tony Finau were a stroke back. Finau shot 65, and Svoboda had a 67.

"I putted really well today," Svoboda said. "I made some long putts."

Defending champion Webb Simpson topped the group at 8 under after a 65.

"I just kept it right in front of me," Simpson said after his bogey-free round. "That's what I did last year on this golf course. If you keep hitting the fairways, you're going to have opportunities to make birdie. I made some putts today. Didn't make many yesterday. All around, just a good, solid day."

Martin Laird, the 2009 winner who was tied with Stewart Cink for the first-round lead, was in the group at 8 under after a 70. He had a double bogey on the par-4 seventh — his 16th hole of the day.

Spencer Levin, George McNeill, Ben Martin, Bo Van Pelt, Scott Piercy and Wes Roach also were 8t under. Levin and McNeill shot 63 — the best rounds of the week.

Levin birdied seven his last eight holes.

"I was 1 over through three, so to shoot 8 under is pretty cool," Levin said. "I made a couple nice putts on my 17th and 18th holes, which kind of makes you feel a little better. I really didn't play that bad, I just didn't putt well yesterday. I probably played a little better today tee to green, but not much. It's just the putts went in today."

McNeill birdied seven of his last 10 holes.

"Obviously, I knew what I had to do," McNeill said. "I wasn't trying to really force anything, but fortunately got off to a decent start, and again in the middle of the round kept it going, and then a nice finish birdieing 18."

Cink followed his opening 64 with a 75 to drop into a tie for 45th at 3 under. He had a quadruple bogey on the par-4 11th — his second hole of day — and made a bogey on the 12th. He also had a bogey on No. 6 and a double bogey on No. 7.

Stuart Appleby went the other direction, rebounding from a 74 with a 64 to move into a tie for 30th at 4 under.

Jarrod Lyle had a 71 to fall into a tie for 22nd at 5 under. The Australian is making his second PGA Tour start since a recurrence of leukemia some 18 months ago.

FedEx Cup winner Billy Horschel missed the cut with rounds of 71 and 72. At No. 13, he was the top-ranked player in the field.

Bae Sang-moon, the Open winner Sunday in the season opener in Napa, California, also shot 71-72 to miss the cut.

Volvo World Match Play Championship

Ash, England — Top-seeded Henrik Stenson beat Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee 2 and 1 to reach the quarterfinals.

Stenson finished round-robin play 3-0 to top the Palmer group. He will face fellow Swede Jonas Blixt on Saturday at The London Golf Club. Blixt halved with England's Paul Casey to finish second behind American Patrick Reed in the McCormack group at 1-1-1.

In the lower-bracket quarterfinal, Dutchman Joost Luiten will play Spain's Pablo Larrazabal.

Luiten beat defending champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland 2 up to win the Larson group at 3-0. Larrazabal was second in the Gabrielsson group at 2-1 after beating Ireland's Shane Lowry 2 and 1.

In the upper bracket, Reed will face South Africa's George Coetzee, and France's Victor Dubuisson will play Finland's Mikko Ilonen.

Reed beat Wales' Jamie Donaldson 3 and 2 to finish 2-1. Coetzee was second in the Palmer group at 1-1-1 after a 2-and-1 loss to Italy's Francesco Molinari.

Dubuisson topped the Gabrielsson group at 2-1 after a 2-and-1 loss to Scotland's Stephen Gallacher. Ilonen beat France's Alexander Levy 1 up to finish second in the Larson group at 2-1.

Lpga Keb-hanabank Championship

Incheon, South Korea — France's Karine Icher birdied three of her final four holes for a 4-under 68 and the second-round lead.

Icher had a 5-under 139 total on Sky72's Ocean Course.

American Brittany Lincicome and Spain's Beatriz Ricari were a stroke back. They shot 70.

Fourth-ranked Suzann Pettersen (71) was 3 under along with Azahara Munoz (69), Mi Jung Hur (69), Jung-Min Lee (70), Sandra Gal (71) and Ilhee Lee (72).

Third-ranked Lydia Ko was 2 under after a 69, and second-ranked Inbee Park was even par after a 73. Both would move to No. 1 in the world with a victory.

U.S. Women's Open champion Michelle Wie followed her opening 76 with a 70 to reach 2 over. She's making her first start since withdrawing during the first round of the Evian Championship in September after reinjuring a stress fracture in her right hand.

Greater Hickory Kia Classic

Conover, N.C. — Jay Haas and Joe Durant each shot an 8-under 63 to share the first-round lead in the Champions Tour's Greater Hickory Kia Classic.

The 60-year-old Haas, the 2005 and 2009 champion, had an eagle and seven birdies on the first 14 holes on Rock Barn Golf and Spa's Champions Course, dropped a stroke on the par-4 15th and closed with two pars. The former Wake Forest player won the last of his 16 Champions Tour titles in June 2012.

Durant had his best score since joining the 50-and-over tour in April. He rebounded from two early bogeys with eight birdies and an eagle.

Roger Chapman and Scott Dunlap shot 65. Kirk Triplett, a two-time winner this season, was another stroke back along with Bill Glasson, Mike Goodes, John Riegger and Rocco Mediate.

Colin Montgomerie opened with a 69. A two-time major winner this season, Montgomerie is second in the Charles Schwab Cup standings — 771 points behind Bernhard Langer with three events left.

Langer is skipping the tournament. He has a tour-high five victories, two of them majors.

Hong Kong Open

Hong Kong — South Africa's Ernie Els took a two-stroke lead in the Hong Kong Open on his 45th birthday, shooting a 5-under 65 to reach 9-under 131.

France's Raphael Jacquelin and Australians Scott Hend and Cameron Smith were tied for second on Hong Kong Golf Club's Fanling Course. Smith shot 65, Hend 66, and Jacquelin 67.

Two-time defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez, dealing with food poisoning, missed the cut by three shots with rounds of 72 and 70. The Spaniard also won in 2005 and 2008.