World No. 1 Jason Day birdied two of the last three holes to seize a one-stroke lead over David Lingmerth after Friday’s second round of the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational.
Australian Day, preparing for the The Open in two weeks and readying to defend his first major title in the PGA Championship at the end of the month, fired a one-under 69 to stand on four-under 136 after 54 holes at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.
Sweden’s Lingmerth was second on 137, with Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo and Americans Scott Piercy and William McGirt on 138, while Australia’s Adam Scott joined world No. 2 Jordan Spieth and fellow Americans Kevin Kisner and Justin Thomas on 139.
Day sank a 25-foot birdie putt at the par-four third hole and opened the back nine with a bogey, three-putting from 16 feet.
However, he took the lead late with a five-foot birdie putt at the par-five 16th and dropped a 16-footer for birdie from the fringe of the 17th green for a two-stroke edge.
A stumble on 18 trimmed the lead to a single shot, Day missing the green with his approach and errant on a six-foot par putt.
Photo: Charles LeClaire, USA TODAY
Lingmerth made an astonishing putting run on the front nine, sinking birdie putts of 22 feet at the par-five second, 60 feet at the par-three fifth, 18 feet at the par-four eighth and 26 feet at the par-four ninth. However, he found a bunker at 11 and missed a 15-foot par putt, answering with a 24-foot birdie putt at 13 only to falter at the finish, finding rough off the tee and coming up short of the green on his approach on the way to a bogey at 18.
Suzann Pettersen delivered the round of the day with an eight-under 64 on Friday that tied her for the second-round lead with Brooke Henderson and set up a duel between past champions at the Cambia Portland Classic.
Pettersen, the 2011 and 2013 winner, and defending champion Henderson lead on 11-under at Columbia Edgewater Country Club.
World No. 2 Henderson teed off in the afternoon and began her day trailing Pettersen by four, but shot a 68 to pull even.
Colombian Mariajo Uribe shot a 65 for the second straight day to reach 10-under. No other player is closer than five shots.
Henderson birdied the par-four 18th hole to ensure she would be playing in the final group yesterday.
Taiwan’s Hsu Wei-ling was three-under, while compatriots Min Lee and Yani Tseng were even-par and one-over respectively, and Cheng Ssu-chia and Amy Hung were both three-over.
Kaohsiung-born Candie Kung was two-under.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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