Kim, Putnam hold 1-shot lead in New Orleans

Michael Kim and Andrew Putnam posted a score of 3-under-par 69 in the alternate-shot format to take a one-stroke lead over Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown midway through the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, Fla.

Kim, of Alameda and Cal, and Putnam, who played at Pepperdine, have played flawlessly for 36 holes other than a double-bogey 6 on the fifth hole in round two after Kim drove into the trees and they needed four shots to reach the green.

“We ham and egged it well,” said Putnam, a three-time winner on the Tour who is playing on the PGA Tour this year for the first time since 2015. “When one person hit a bad shot, the next person hit a good recovery. Wasn’t our prettiest golf, but that’s what we did.

“I think just knowing each other (helps). Our personalities mesh really well and games are pretty similar. We both played some good golf in college, and this has been fun this first two days.”

Added Kim: “We just started out kind of with a little up-and-down, with the double in the beginning, but we really grinded our butts off. We’re pretty pleased with 3-under. The good thing is we knew kind of what to expect. Scores are going to be a little higher today. Just going in with par is a good mentality. I think we did pretty good.”

Kim (pictured right) and Putnam (left), who were tied for second after a first-round 62, finished 36 holes at 13-under 131.

Kisner and Brown, who also opened with a 62, followed with a 70, while Nate Lashley and Rod Oppenheim shot 69 and are two shots back in a tie for third with Chad Campbell and Matt Jones of Australia, who birdied the last hole when Campbell sank an eight-foot putt to cap a 70.

Cody Gribble and Josh Peterson birdied three holes on the back nine in a 68 and are three behind in a tie for fifth Tony Finau and Daniel Summerhays, who finished at 72.

First-round co-leaders Lucas Glover and Chez Reavie followed an opening 60 with an ugly 75 and are four behind in a tie for seventh with Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar (67), Whee Kim of South Korea and Andrew Yun (69), Brendan Steele and Jamie Lovemark (71), Richy Werenski and Nicholas Lindheim (71), and J.J. Henry and Tom Hoge (73).

There were 36 teams that made the cut at 5-under 139 or better, and among those to miss the weekend were second-ranked Justin Thomas and Bud Cauley (70-70—140), third-ranked Jordan Spieth and Ryan Palmer (66-74— 140), 10th-ranked Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera Bello of Spain (67-73— 140), fourth-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain and Wesley Bryan (66-76—141), and defending champions Jonas Blixt of Sweden and Cameron Smith of Australia (65-76—141).

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