Returning back to where his pro career started, Bryson DeChambeau has a 36-hole lead on the PGA Tour for the first time.
It was two years ago that DeChambeau made his pro debut at Harbour Town off an impressive showing at the Masters, and he dazzled that week with a T-4 finish that served notice that the former U.S. Amateur champ had ample game to hang with the pros. This time around he fired a career-low 64 in the second round to take a one-shot lead over Si Woo Kim and Ian Poulter.
DeChambeau opened with an eagle on the par-5 second hole, then added seven more birdies including four in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 13-17. The 24-year-old chalked it up to an ever-useful combination of accurate iron play and streaky putting.
"You know it's funny, obviously my iron play is incredible, and when I get going I can get hot," DeChambeau told reporters. "But this course just fits my eye. The shaping of the holes, and just a couple of the doglegs, I'm able to shape shots."
The greens at Harbour Town are the smallest Tour players encounter all year, but DeChambeau has managed to find 24 of 36 targets through three rounds while picking up more than three shots on the field with putter in hand.
DeChambeau earned his first Tour win last summer at the John Deere Classic and has contended a few times this spring, notably a runner-up finish to Rory McIlroy at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. DeChambeau was also in the mix at the Waste Management Phoenix Open before dropping to a tie for fifth, and he's pleased with the strides he has made both this week and this season.
"I know my game is good enough to be with the elites in the game. I'm not there yet. I know that. But I certainly am moving in the right direction, figuring a lot of great things out that's helping me on the golf course," DeChambeau said. "At every stage it's always taken me a couple of years to get comfortable. And I'm finally starting to get a little comfortable out here."