Argentina’s Andres Romero fired his second consecutive seven-under-par 65 on Friday to grab a one-stroke lead after the second round of the US$3.5 million US PGA Tour Puerto Rico Open.
Romero, whose only PGA title came in 2008 at New Orleans, was on 14-under 130 after 36 holes, one shot ahead of American Scott Brown, with US rivals Peter Uihlein and Steve LeBrun on 132 and Argentina’s Fabian Gomez fifth on 133.
“I’m just playing well,” Romero said. “I’m just going to try to keep things going, stay calm the way I’ve been doing. That is the most important thing, just stay calm and try not to think about what might happen on the 72nd hole.”
With 65 of the tour’s top players at the World Golf Championships event at Doral in Miami this week, the Puerto Rico event offers a title chance to some of the PGA’s unheralded standouts.
Romero, who shared the lead with Australian Cameron Percy when the day began, birdied the par-five second, par-four third and par-five fifth holes, but a double bogey at the par-three eighth sent him tumbling back down the leaderboard.
The 31-year-old South American responded with starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, added another at 13, then had back-to-back birdies at the par-five 15th and par-three 16th before closing with another birdie at the par-five 18th.
“What has helped me is going back to my old putter,” Romero said. “It has really been great for me. I had used that putter for a long time and then after a while I changed it.”
Brown birdied three of the last four holes after a bogey at 14 to fire a 63 and move into second place. He birdied the second and fifth, then eagled the par-four seventh before starting a run of three birdies in a row at the eighth.
Percy fired a 70 to stand five strokes off the pace.