Hometown favorite Webb Simpson fired a second straight 5-under-par 67 and tied Robert Streb for the lead after the second round of the Wells Fargo Championship at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C.
Simpson, who lives in Charlotte and is a member at Quail Hollow, birdied three of the last five holes, sinking a 67-foot chip shot to tie for the lead on the par-3 17th hole after missing the green with his tee shot.
“Playing here quite often, I know where the best places are to miss (the green),” said Simpson, who captured the 2012 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. “I know I have to make birdies.
“I don’t feel any more pressure (playing at home) now that I’m tied for the lead or however it ends up. The end goal is to shoot as many under as I can. I saw so many people, friends and family, and heard my name a lot. I’m sure (Saturday) will be fun. If I’m 1-over at any point early in the round, I think that support will help me. They’ll be rooting for me and birdies will mean more. It will be fun.”
Streb, who held the first-round lead with a bogey-free 65, followed it up with a 69 that included his only bogey in the first 36 holes on the 16th hole, where he hit his drive into the water but prevented more damage by sinking a 13-foot putt.
Patrick Rodgers, the rookie from Stanford who is playing at Quail Hollow on a sponsors exemption, recorded a second straight 68 and was two strokes back in a tie for third with Martin Flores, who had a 67.
Top-ranked Rory McIlroy, who claimed his first PGA Tour victory at Quail Hollow in 2010, posted a bogey-free 67 and was three shots behind in a tie for fifth with Phil Mickelson, who carded a 66, and Will MacKenzie, who came in at 68.
Defending champion J.B. Holmes struggled to a 76 and missed the cut by one stroke, as did Adam Scott of Australia, after a 74. Jim Furyk, who won the tournament in 2006, shot 76 and missed the weekend by four shots.