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Taylor Pendrith’s course-record 61 good for lead at Bermuda

Jul 18, 2021; Nicholasville, Kentucky, USA; Taylor Pendrith hits his tee shot on the third hole during the final round of the Barbasol Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 18, 2021; Nicholasville, Kentucky, USA; Taylor Pendrith hits his tee shot on the third hole during the final round of the Barbasol Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Canadian Taylor Pendrith fired a 10-under 61 to soar into the lead at 11 under Friday after two rounds of the Butterfield Bermuda Championship in Southampton, Bermuda.

The 61 marked both a career best for Pendrith, a 30-year-old Tour rookie, and a course record at Port Royal Golf Course.

Pendrith leads Patrick Rodgers (64) by one stroke.

Starting his round on the back nine, Pendrith had consecutive of birdies before a bogey at the par-3 13th. But after pulling out an eagle at the par-5 17th hole, he birdied the first five holes after the turn and added his ninth and final birdie of the day at No. 7 to break a tie with Rodgers.

Pendrith noted how much different the course played Friday in calmer wind conditions. Thursday’s round required a five-minute delay for heavy winds and some rain.

“Didn’t have to play the wind on your putts,” Pendrith said. “It was crazy Thursday, probably the hardest conditions I’ve ever played in. Today was beautiful. Our back nine there was hardly a breath of wind, which was awesome. So very scorable out there and was able to get some putts go in on the front nine and keep it going.”

Pendrith is two weeks removed from his wedding to his wife Meg, now has an overnight lead for the first time in his career.

“We went away for a few days up north in Ontario just to get away, but I told her we’re going to Bermuda and Mexico for the next two weeks, so pretty good vacation spots,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Rodgers posted six birdies, a bogey and a chip-in eagle at the par-5 seventh to shoot 64 and become the leader in the clubhouse.

Rodgers has not won on tour and had to save his full status by finishing well in the Korn Ferry Tour Championship.

“I think gratitude is important,” said Rodgers, who delivered his best round since 2019. “I think, to be quite honest with you, there have been times where I’ve lost sight of how amazing it is to be on the PGA Tour. The grind of this summer, trying to fight to keep my card, I really had to kind of learn to understand what it meant to me.”

Vincent Whaley shot a 67 to move to 9 under and hold onto third place. Danny Lee of New Zealand and David Skinns of England each posted consecutive 67s to reach 8 under and a tie for fourth.

Lee recovered from a disastrous opening nine holes that included two bogeys and a double by going eagle-birdie-birdie-birdie at Nos. 5-8.

Skinns, a 39-year-old PGA Tour rookie, earned his card this year for the first time in roughly 20 years of trying.

“There’s nothing really different,” Skinns said. “You’re still playing golf and when you’re playing good golf, it translates most places and I like to think my game can translate most places.”

Patrick Reed, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 24 in the world, shot 69 Friday and is tied for 17th at 5 under. England’s Matt Fitzpatrick (68) is 3 under, in a tie for 34th.

–Field Level Media