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GOLF ROUNDUP

071021-spt-golf

US Senior Open Golf

Jim Furyk tees off on the first hole during the second round of the U.S. Senior Open Championship at Omaha Country Club on Friday Omaha, Neb.

OMAHA, Neb. — The combination of wind, heat and humidity made it difficult to go low at the U.S. Senior Open on Friday.

Jim Furyk and Greg Kraft found a way.

Furyk shot a 6-under 64, the best round in days at Omaha Country Club, to take a two-stroke lead over Stephen Ames. The 2003 U.S. Open champion and 17-time PGA Tour winner rebounded from an opening 72 to get to 4 under.

"I was able to see some putts go in, and I hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens today, kept the ball in good places," Furyk said. "When I missed it, I missed it in the right spots for the most part. Just really kind of got on a roll and got some momentum."

First-round co-leader Ames bogeyed four of the first six holes on his second nine and shot 73. Two-time U.S. Senior Open runner-up Miguel Angel Jimenez (71) was 1 under.

Kraft, who hadn't played in a tournament since September 2019, had four straight birdies on his second nine and shot 65 for the best round of the afternoon session.

"I just got it going," said Kraft, who shot 75 on Thursday. "I actually played not that bad yesterday, but I was on the wrong side of the hole all day. Today I got it under the hole, which made a big difference."

Kraft was in a logjam of 10 players at even par. Among them were first-round co-leader Billy Andrade (75), Fred Couples (71), David Toms, Thongchai Jaidee (71) and the oldest player in the field, 67-year-old Jay Haas (71).

"You know, there's such a long way to go, but I'm playing OK," Haas said. "I don't think I'm playing just amazingly — golf that I can't even fathom. I can play better, I think, but I have to do it. I feel good. Health, I love the heat. It keeps me loose."

Alex Cejka (74), the winner of the first two majors of the year, was in a group of 12 at 1 over along with major winners Mike Weir (74), Mark O'Meara (71) and Retief Goosen (69).

With thunderstorms in the forecast Saturday, the first tee times for the third round were moved up to 7:15 a.m. with threesomes going off Nos. 1 and 10.

Temperatures were in the low 70s when Furyk went out Friday morning, but wind swirled and was gusty. The wind calmed by the afternoon, but heat and humidity set in to create feel-like temperatures near 100, and the conditions coupled with the hills of OCC wore on the 50-and-over players.

Furyk hit 12 of 13 fairways and 15 of 18 greens in regulation and had three birdies on each side.

The turning point, he said, was making a 30-foot putt to save par after his tee shot landed in a greenside bunker on the 240-yard, par-3 third hole. Birdies on three of the next four holes got him under par for the tournament.

"Then you're kind of playing with house money," he said. "You can relax a little bit and just think fairways and greens."

Furyk ended his round with a birdie on the par-4 18th. He hit a knocked-down 8-iron about 15 feet under the hole and made the putt to secure his lowest score in an official event since last September.

Luke List goes on a birdie binge for 63 to lead John Deere

SILVIS, Ill. — Luke List has a happy and healthy home life with his newborn son, and he felt pretty good about his golf game Friday in the John Deere Classic.

List ran off seven birdies in an eight-hole stretch in the middle of his round, his only par on a 12-foot birdie chance on the 15th hole, and posted an 8-under 63. That gave him a one-shot lead over Sebastian Munoz going into the weekend at the TPC Deere Run.

List was at 13-under 129.

Munoz played early and shot a 4-under 67, getting all his birdies on the back nine and then finishing with 10 pars.

Former tournament winner Ryan Moore had a chance to catch List until he ran into trouble off the 18th tee and made bogey, giving him a 66 and leaving him among seven players two shots off the lead. That group included Lucas Glover and Chase Seiffert, each with 63.

List is still searching for his first PGA Tour victory, though that wasn't front and center over the last month. His son, Harrison, was born June 5 and had to return to the hospital because of a respiratory virus that had him intubated for a few days and in intensive care for two weeks.

List, who is No. 117 in the FedEx Cup with the season winding down, stayed home the last two weeks to help with their 2-year-old daughter.

"It was tough, but it's been amazing to come back," List said. "Everyone has been asking and praying and thinking about us, so it's kind of cool. It's a big family out here, and it's nice to know that you've got everyone's support when it's not going great."

Hataoka keeps Marathon LPGA Classic lead with late birdie burst

SYLVANIA, Ohio — Nasa Hataoka needed another birdie streak to hang onto the lead Friday in the Marathon LPGA Classic.

A day after making six straight birdies in an opening 10-under 61, the 22-year-old Japanese player had four in a row on Nos. 14-17 to salvage a 69.

"My shots were not as good as yesterday," Hataoka said. "Didn't have that many chances. I had a lot of problems, but I was able to fix that for the last part and bring it back up."

Her lead was cut from four to two strokes, with American Mina Harigae second after her second straight bogey-free 66.

Hataoka had a 12-under 130 total at Highland Meadows. She played the first nine in 1 over with two birdies and three bogeys and dropped another shot on 13 before rallying with the late birdie burst.

The three-time LPGA Tour winner lost a playoff to Yuka Saso a month ago in the U.S. Women's Open at Olympic Club. She took last week off after tying for 29th in Michigan and missing the cut in the KMPG Women's PGA.

Fellow U.S. players Alison Lee and Elizabeth Szokol each shot 66 to get to 9 under.

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