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Tournament of Champions 2020: Xander Schauffele Leads by 1 Stroke After Round 2

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJanuary 4, 2020

KAPALUA, HAWAII - JANUARY 03: Xander Schauffele of the United States plays a shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the Sentry Tournament Of Champions at the Kapalua Plantation Course on January 03, 2020 in Kapalua, Hawaii. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Xander Schauffele put himself in the driver's seat to win his second straight Sentry Tournament of Champions with a five-under 68 to end Friday nine under overall and one shot clear of Patrick Reed and Joaquin Niemann.

Schauffele, whose tournament-ending 62 last year gave him the win at Kapalua Golf in Lahaina, Hawaii, had a bogey-free round en route to holding the lead into moving day.

All facets of Schauffele's game were working Friday. He hit 93.33 percent of fairways and 77.78 percent of greens in regulation, per PGATour.com. The 26-year-old also gained 2.127 strokes putting as well.

He also joined some excellent company thanks to his bogey-free 36-hole start. per Justin Ray of 15th Club:

Justin Ray @JustinRayGolf

Schauffele would be just the third 36-hole leader at Maui all-time to also be bogey-free, joining Spieth in 2016 and Vijay in 2005. #SentryTOC

Schauffele may be leading heading into the weekend, but a packed leaderboard is hot at his heels with 13 players within five shots of the lead.

The day's best performance went to Patrick Reed, who made eight birdies en route to his seven-under 66. 

A smoking-hot putter helped him gain 3.392 strokes on the green. He notably knocked home birdie putts of 41'2" on the fourth and a 27'7" putt on the 17th.

Reed has mounted an impressive comeback after a triple bogey on the seventh hole Thursday knocked him down to three over. However, the 2018 Masters champion used four consecutive birdies from the 12th through 15th holes to finish at one under for the day heading into Friday.

Niemann led the 34-man field heading into Friday after shooting a seven-under 66. While he wasn't as hot on Friday, the 21-year-old kept stayed near the top of the scoreboard with a one-under 72. A pair of birdies on the 15th and 16th holes vaulted him to a second-place tie heading into Saturday.

Rickie Fowler's two-under 71 put him in fourth at a seven-under overall. Patrick Cantlay and Justin Thomas are tied for fifth at six under.

NBC will carry coverage of the tournament Saturday between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET. Golf Channel will then pick up the action from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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