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AT&T Byron Nelson 2021: Sam Burns Holds 2-Stroke Lead After Round 2

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 15, 2021

AP Photo/Ray Carlin

The TPC Craig Ranch course in McKinney, Texas, isn't putting up much of a fight at the 2021 AT&T Byron Nelson.

The cut line is at six under par through Friday's second round, leaving players such as Brooks Koepka (three-under), Sergio Garcia (four-under) and Matt Fitzpatrick (two-under) who appeared to play well not going through to the weekend with so many golfers putting up impressive scores.

While many are well below par, nobody has been better than Sam Burns.

He sits in first place at 17 under after shooting a sparkling 10-under 62 in Friday's second round.

Here is a look at the top of the leaderboard, which can be found in full at PGATour.com.

  1. Sam Burns, -17
  2. Alex Noren, -15
  3. K.H. Lee, -14
  4. Doc Redman, -13
  5. J.J. Spaun, -12

The biggest storyline coming into Friday was whether Jordan Spieth could keep up his resurgent play.

The 27-year-old finished in a tie for third place at April's Masters Tournament and won the Valero Texas Open that same month, which was his first victory on Tour since 2017. The AT&T Byron Nelson marked his return to the course following a bout with COVID-19, and he quickly picked up where he left off and found himself tied for the lead with J.J. Spaun at nine under through the first round.

Spieth took a step back Friday but was still solid with a two-under 70.

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It was a steady and consistent showing that featured three birdies, one bogey and 14 pars that left him well within striking distance at six shots back of Burns. The biggest difference from his first round came at the four par-fives considering he tallied three birdies and an eagle on Thursday compared to one birdie and three pars on Friday.

"I'll just get some better rest tonight, and then like I said, tomorrow will be kind of a fun test," Spieth said after his round, per Max Schreiber of Golf Channel. "There is no reason for me not to trust everything I'm doing. At this point, I've got an opportunity to contend here, and if I can get myself a chance on Sunday, that is the best prep for this tournament and also next week."

Spaun is in a similar position as Spieth, not playing up to his head-turning showing in the first but still in contention.

He shot a three-under 69 with two birdies on the front nine and one on the back while avoiding any bogeys. He birdied the final hole and should have some momentum heading into moving day.

Spieth and Spaun are both chasing Burns, who was unbelievable in the second round.

The 24-year-old went bogey-free to go with 10 birdies, four of which came on the par-five holes. He is now eight-under par on those par-five holes alone through two rounds thanks in part to an eagle on No. 18 in the first round.

Burns is coming off his first career PGA Tour victory at the Valspar Championship earlier this month and is looking to build on how he closed that tournament with another opportunity.

The Associated Press (h/t ESPN) noted Burns failed to win after holding a 54-hole lead two other times this season, but that changed at the Valspar Championship.

He will have to hold off a number of formidable players in the next two rounds to win another one, but shooting 10-under par again will surely do the trick.

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