Scheffler Shoots Second 64, Leads Palmer, Hughes by 1 in Byron Nelson

Second-ranked Scottie Scheffler finds himself on top again.

Scheffler, who has been No. 1 in the World Golf Rankings several times in the last year, reeled off a second straight seven-under-par 64 and holds a one-stroke lead over Ryan Palmer and Mackenzie Hughes of Canada midway through the 70th AT&T Byron Nelson at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas.

The home crowd definitely is behind Schauffele, who played college golf at Texas and lives in Dallas.

“I want to win a lot of tournaments,” said Scheffler, who has won six on the PGA Tour in just over a year, including the Masters. “This one being in my hometown, it would definitely be a lot of fun with the crowd behind me this weekend.

“It was just solid golf. I didn’t really struggle for too many pars out there, and I felt like I putted a little bit better today than yesterday. But that’s not stuff that occupies too many of my thoughts. I don’t want to place too much emphasis on one tournament. I just want to go out and do my best and see where that puts me.”

Scheffler, who will take the top spot in the world rankings back from Jon Rahm of Spain with a victory this week, claimed the first of his eight birdies on the two opening holes, made four on each nine and recorded a 36-hole score of 14-under 128.

Palmer, 46, who has won six times on the PGA Tour but not since the 2019 Zurich Classic of New Orleans alongside Rahm, made his lone bogey on the second hole in a 65, while Hughes had four birdies on the front nine and three more on the last four holes to cap his brilliant, bogey-free 64.

“I’d win this tournament and stay home next week, to be honest with you,” said Palmer, who also is from the Dallas-Fort Wort area is trying to qualify for the PGA Championship next week at Oakhill Country Club in Pittsford, N.Y. “This means more to me.

“I’ve just got to keep the gas pedal down. I think we’re going to get a lot of rain (Saturday), and it sounds like possibly Sunday, so it could be a very patient weekend.”

Said Hughes, who highlighted his round by chipping in from 50 yards for a birdie on the 16th hole: “I had the whole length of the green to work with, so I felt like it was a good spot to get up-and-down for par, but did that one better with a birdie. I hadn’t done that for a while, so that felt pretty good.”

Si Woo Kim of South Korea birdied three of the last five holes for a 66 and is three shots back in solo fourth, followed one more behind by Richey Werenski, who posted a bogey-free 68.

Harrison Endycott of Australia collected seven birdies in a bogey-free 64 and is five down in a big tie for sixth with C.T. Pan of Taiwan, who sank an 11-foot eagle putt at No. 9 in a 66; Henrik Norlander of Sweden, who birdied the last hole for a 67; Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, who had three birdies on each nine in another 67; Sam Stevens, who had a lone bogey in his 68; Scott Piercy, who made three birdies on the back nine on his way to a 69; Jason Day, who birdied the last hole for another 69, and Zecheng Dou of China, who also birdied the final hole to salvage a 70.

Two-time defending AT&T Byron Nelson champion K.H. Lee of South Korea birdied three of the last six holes to cap a 68 and made the cut on the number.

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