MIAMI (AFP) — Canadian journeyman Taylor Pendrith fired a dazzling 10-under-par 61 to storm into the lead at the halfway stage of the US Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Tour’s Bermuda Championship on Friday.
The 30-year-old from Ontario, who is yet to break into the world’s top 100 in seven years as a professional, produced a dazzling display at Port Royal Golf Course to take a one-shot lead after 36 holes.
Pendrith, who started the day on one under after an opening round 70 on Thursday, took advantage of perfect conditions after a wind-whipped first round to card nine birdies and an eagle with one bogey.
“Yesterday was some of the worst weather I’ve ever played in and just almost like surviving out there,” Pendrith said after his round.
“Today was a completely different story and could actually enjoy the views of Bermuda, so it was great.”
Teeing off on Port Royal’s par-four 10th, Pendrith notched three birdies and a bogey in his opening five holes of the day. A brilliant eagle three at the long par-five 17th then helped him to four under at the turn.
The Canadian then erupted down the stretch, rattling off five straight birdies to move to nine under, before a further birdie on the seventh, his 16th hole of the day, dropped him to 10-under for the round and 11-under 131 overall.
“Obviously it’s Friday, so I’m just trying to put myself in a good position to make as many birdies as possible. It has been a dream start,” Pendrith said.
Pendrith, who has hardly played since getting married two weeks ago, revealed afterwards he had not practiced at all this week leading into the tournament.
“I didn’t hit one shot on the golf course Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, so I didn’t see any of the holes, so to be in this position is great,” he said.
Pendrith, currently ranked 239th in the world and who is chasing his first PGA title, leads by one shot from Patrick Rodgers of the United States. Rodgers posted six birdies and an eagle with one bogey for a seven-under-par 64.
Vincent Whaley of the United States is two off the lead on nine under after a second round 67, while New Zealand’s Danny Lee and England’s David Skinns are tied for fourth spot on eight under.
Both Lee and Skinss posted four-under-par 67s on Friday.
Peter Malnati, Lucas Herbert, Patrick Flavin and Justin Lower are tied for sixth spot on seven under.