01 Apr 2023, 09:40

Rodgers surges to Texas Open lead

HOUSTON, April 1, 2023 (BSS/AFP) - Patrick Rodgers birdied five of his last six holes in a five-under-par 67 on Friday to take a three-shot lead at the US PGA Tour Texas Open -- where a victory will get him into the Masters.

Rodgers' storming finish to the second round capped his long day at TPC San Antonio, where he played 23 holes after weather delays disrupted play on Thursday.

He completed his first-round 66 on Friday morning to lie two shots behind Canadian Corey Conners.

After two quick birdies at the second and third in the second round, Rodgers rebounded from bogeys at the sixth and 10th with birdies at 13, 14, 16, 17 and 18.

If he can keep it up over the weekend, a first tour title would come with a ticket to next weeks' Masters, the first major championship of the year at Augusta National.

"It's something I've always dreamt of," Rodgers said. "It's the reason why I'm out here.

"I love this job because I love to compete and I do my best to win a golf tournament every time I tee it up. I'm excited for the chance. This is, like I said, why I play. It's going to be a really fun next couple of days."

Rodgers' 11-under total of 133 put him three strokes clear of Conners, the 2019 Texas Open champion who followed his first-round 64 with an even-par 72.

American Michael Thompson was in third after a 68 for seven-under 137.

After fog delayed the start of Thursday's first round for more than three hours, the second round was due to finish on Saturday morning.

When darkness halted play, Rodgers' closest pursuer on the course was Mexico's Roberto Diaz, who was eight-under through 10 holes.

Rodgers, 30, has played in just five major championships in his career, which has seen him tee it up in 234 prior tournaments without a victory.

He put himself in position to change that with his storming finish, sticking his tee shot at the 198-yard 16th inside eight feet for birdie and making another birdie from inside 10 feet at 17.

He reached the 593-yard par-five 18th in two for a closing birdie.

Conners, meanwhile, four-putted his seventh hole, the par-three 16th, as he found himself unable to build on the momentum of his first round.

"It was just really windy," Conners said of his trouble on the green at 16. "Just caught a bit of a gust on the first putt, a little mindless trying to knock in my bogey putt and it got away from me as well ... It happens. I feel like I'm rolling it well."


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