WGC-Mexico Championship 2020: Bryson DeChambeau Takes Lead After 2nd Round

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 22, 2020

Bryson DeChambeau of the United States follows his tee off at the tenth hole during the second round for the WGC-Mexico Championship golf tournament, at the Chapultepec Golf Club in Mexico City, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
Fernando Llano/Associated Press

Halfway through the 2020 WGC-Mexico Championship, Bryson DeChambeau is in sole possession of the lead with a 36-hole score of 11-under par. 

The California native carded a 63 on Friday that included six birdies over his final nine holes to move up three spots from his first-round position. 

As impressive as DeChambeau's round was, it was only good enough to tie for the second-lowest score of the day. Patrick Reed matched DeChambeau's 63 and is tied with Erik van Rooyen for second place at 10-under par. 

Van Rooyen carded the best score of the second round with a bogey-free, nine-under-par 62.  

Here's how the rest of the leaderboard looks from Club de Golf Chapultepec, via PGATour.com

1. Bryson DeChambeau (-11)

T2. Erik van Rooyen (-10)

T2. Patrick Reed (-10)

T4. Hideki Matsuyama (-9)

T4. Justin Thomas (-9)

6. Rory McIlroy (-8)

T7. Sebastian Munoz (-5)

T7. Tyrrell Hatton (-5)

T7. Paul Casey (-5)

     

Starting on the back nine, DeChambeau's day started out in unspectacular fashion. He was at even-par through five holes with one birdie and one bogey. His ninth hole is when things kicked into gear with a run of seven birdies in eight holes. 

DeChambeau was on point in all phases Friday. He was especially effective at getting on the green in regulation (83.3 percent) and taking advantage of his opportunities on the green (4.56 strokes gained putting). 

If DeChambeau can keep up that pace the rest of this weekend, he will end a 15-month winless drought on the PGA Tour. The 26-year-old's last victory on tour was at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in November 2018. 

Van Rooyen turned 30 on Friday and celebrated by tying the course record for the lowest single-round score:

Of the three par-five holes on the course, Van Rooyen birdied all of them in the second round. He also birdied six of the 11 par-fours to complete his masterpiece. 

Reed, who has been in the news this week amid new accusations of cheating, finds himself right in the mix for a victory after a strong round. 

A European Tour regular, Van Rooyen has never won on the PGA Tour. His only win on the European circuit came last August at the Scandinavian Masters with a score of 19-under par. 

Hideki Matsuyama had a chance to tie Van Rooyen for the lowest score of the round, but consecutive bogeys on his 16th and 17th holes forced him to settle for a 64. The Japanese star is still in a great position, tied for fourth with Justin Thomas at nine under par overall. 

Thomas had one of the best runs of the tournament to this point. He played five holes at six-under par, capping it off with an eagle on No. 1 after starting on the back nine:

Entering the second round in the lead, Rory McIlroy was unable to maintain his position. He followed up his 65 with a two-under-par 69 to finish three shots behind DeChambeau heading into the weekend. 

McIlroy's three-shot deficit is hardly cause for panic. His third-round scoring average of 66.25 this season ranks third on the PGA Tour. 

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