Putnam, Knox share Shriners lead at Summerlin


Scores remained low in the Las Vegas desert, where a pair of players share the lead, with both in search of their maiden win. Here's how things look at the halfway point of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, where Andrew Putnam and Russell Knox sit atop the standings:

Leaderboard: Andrew Putnam (-10), Russell Knox (-10), Andrew Svoboda (-9), Tony Finau (-9), Webb Simpson (-8), Scott Piercy (-8), Martin Laird (-8)

What it means: Putnam is a rookie making just his third PGA Tour start, and he may even be the lesser-known player within his own family; his brother, Michael, led the Web.com Tour money list in 2013. Putnam moved into the lead with a 6-under 65, while Knox - who lost a playoff earlier this year at the Honda Classic - carded a 4-under 67.

Round of the day: It's been a tough few years for Spencer Levin, who has battled both injury and a loss of form, but he bounced back in a big way with an 8-under 63 Friday. Levin birdied seven of his final eight holes, and after a T-21 finish at the season-opening Frys.com Open, he heads into the weekend in a tie for fifth, two shots off the pace.

Best of the rest: George McNeill won this event in 2007 and is again in the mix after matching Levin's 8-under 63 in the second round. McNeill made nine birdies, six on the back nine, against just one bogey to bounce back after an opening 71 left him outside the projected cut line.

Biggest disappointment: Stewart Cink came out of the gates quickly with a first-round 64 to grab a share of the lead, but the former Open champ struggled mightily in Round 2. Cink made a quadruple-bogey 8 on No. 11, his second hole of the day, after taking four shots from greenside bunkers, and eventually carded a 4-over 75 that dropped him seven shots off the lead.

Main storyline heading into Saturday: It remains to be seen how the players in contention handle the spotlight, as the top four names have never won on the PGA Tour. A large group of players lurking at 8 under includes Simpson, the defending champion in Las Vegas, and Laird, who tied for third last week at Silverado. Former FedEx Cup champ Brandt Snedeker also remains in the hunt, just three shots off the lead.

Shot of the day: Tim Clark offered a mid-round highlight at No. 18, his ninth hole of the day, when his approach from 161 yards found the hole on the fly for a slam-dunk eagle. The shot propelled Clark to a second-round 67. He will begin the third round at 7 under, three shots back.