Schauffele goes on birdie run and leads at Shadow Creek

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CJ Cup: Xander Schauffele surges clear after second round

His momentum slowed with the pace of play, and he settled an eight-under 64 for a three-shot lead over Englishman Tyrrell Hatton who shot a second-round four-under 68.

"I got off to a hot start and kind of slowed down".

Hatton, among six players who were in England last week for the European Tour's flagship event, was headed for a rocky finish when he laid up into the rough on the par-5 16th that led to a second straight bogey. Henley opened on the back nine and made birdies at the 10th and 12th before a three-putt bogey at the par-3 13th, but reached the par-5 18th green in two and holed a 10-foot eagle putt.

"It was nice", Schauffele said of his early birdie blitz.

But it would be Schauffele, 26, the one who became the great figure of the day upon completing the Shadow Creek Golf Course, from Las Vegas (Nevada), with a ideal performance by eight birdies, including six in a row he achieved from the thirteenth hole. "If you're in the fairway, it frees you up a little bit to go for the pin". "Some of those holes you're not really trying to birdie them, you're kind of just trying to leave yourself an uphill 35-footer and fortunately I made a couple of them", he said.

Two more birdies were added to the scorecard before making the turn for a 6-under score of 30 through nine holes, before adding further birdies at the 1st (Hatton's 10th), 4th and 8th, with two bogeys for the day ath the 2nd and 6th.

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He was at 14-under 130 and now has the course record at Shadow Creek, which is hosting the CJ Cup for this year only because the COVID-19 pandemic made travel to South Korea impractical.

Talor Gooch sits outright fourth at nine under after an impressive 65, and he is a stroke ahead of Jason Kokrak (66) and US PGA Championship victor Collin Morikawa (65).

"I guess I played my way somewhat back into it", he said before turning to look at the scores on a nearby monitor.

He played alongside PGA champion Collin Morikawa, who shot a 65, and Viktor Hovland, who had a 66. "I concentrated a little more today". He managed his only birdie on the front nine with a 17-foot putt on the seventh hole and sank an 11-footer to save par on the ninth.

Second-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain is tied for 15th after a 73, while fourth-ranked Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland shot 69 and is in a tie for 26th that includes 11th-ranked Brooks Koepka, the 2018 CJ Cup champion who had a 68, and 14th-ranked Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA totaled 72 and is tie for 33rd.

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