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Xander Schauffele fires 7-under to take lead at TPC Scottsdale

Feb 5, 2021; Scottsdale, Arizona, USA; Xander Schauffele with his tee shot on the 17th during the second round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament at TPC Scottsdale. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Xander Schauffele carded a 7-under 64 on Friday to rocket his way to the halfway point lead of the Waste Management Open in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Schauffele’s clean card included five birdies and an eagle on the par 5 15th hole. He sits at 12-under 130, one stroke ahead of Keegan Bradley (second-round 65) and Steve Stricker (66), tied for second at 11 under after 36 holes.

Sam Burns (68), Kyoung-Hoon Lee (66) and Scottie Scheffler are tied for fourth at 10 under. Scheffler jumped eight spots with his 65.

Nate Lashley sits alone in seventh at 9 under, three strokes back.

Schauffele was red-hot, finishing with three birdies in a row on Nos. 12-14, carding the eagle at 15 and birdying the final hole.

“It was nice to do it. I think everyone in the field knows if you can play those holes properly you have the chance to make a lot of birdies coming in,” Schauffele said. “Obviously can go the other way as well.”

Schauffele carded just one birdie on the front nine.

“So it was kind of a slow front nine. Stayed really patient. Gave myself — I hit it in the fairway most of the holes coming down the stretch and gave myself some opportunities,” Schauffele said.

A cadre of players are tied for eighth, including Brooks Koepka (66) and Patton Kizzire, who shot up 29 places on the leaderboard to sit four shots back heading into Saturday’s round. Kizzire fired a 65, joining seven other players at 8 under.

Bradley birdies his first four holes and finished with seven against one bogey for his 65.

“All it was was having some putts go in,” Bradley said. “With me, that’s kind of all I need to do. I made one really long one last night, and sometimes those get you going.”

Scheffler, who started on No. 10, had a messy day on the course, finishing with six birdies to go with a double bogey and an eagle on No. 17.

“Yeah, I played pretty solidly,” Scheffler said. “I had a really good front nine. It I didn’t play as well on the back nine, but it was nice to get off to a good start today and looking forward to the weekend.”

–Field Level Media