Dustin Johnson had the day every golfer dreams of on Friday, during the second round of the WGC-HSBC Champions golf tournament in Shanghai, and playing partner, Graeme McDowell seen it all up close, and personal. Johnson matched a tournament record at the Sheshan International Golf Course with a 63 that was good for a five-shot lead when the day was over.
Dustin Johnson, starting his day on the front nine, put up six birdies in the first seven holes. He made the turn at 30 before making his only bogey of the day at number 10. Four more birdies down the stretch would net a five shot lead over a very strong field in China. The driver was the key to Dustin’s score on Friday. He never hit more than 8-iron into a par 4. He twice came within 15 yards of driving the green on par 4s — once with a 3-iron.
“I really drove the ball really well,” Johnson said. “For me, that’s a big key.”
Johnson became the sixth player with a 63 at Sheshan International, last achieved by Martin Kaymer in the final round in 2011. He was at 12-under 132, five shots clear of Rory McIlroy (72), Bubba Watson (69) and Boo Weekley (67).
First round leader, Rory McIlroy got off to a good start on Friday with three birdies on the front nine, but he gave it all back on the back nine with three bogeys. He shot even par, and is tied with Bubba Watson, and Boo Weekly in second place five strokes back. Rory was hitting the ball well again, but made some bad decisions on the back and couldn’t keep up with what Dustin was doing.
There is a group of five players at six under par that are still in this tournament including defending champion, Ian Poulter. Poulter shot a five under par 67 to pull within striking distance. He joins Tommy Fleetwood from England, Gonzalo FDEZ Costano and Sergio Garcia from Spain, Ernie Els, and Graeme McDowell all tied for fifth place.
The WGC-HSBC is fielded with 78 of the worlds best players, and is a no-cut event. There are Race To Dubai points and FedEx Cup points on the line along with an $8.5 million dollar purse. It is setting up to be a wild finish in Shanghai.
After putting a nine on his scorecard at the eighth hole on Thursday, Phil Mickelson shot a four under par 68 on Friday to get back in the hunt at five under par. At the time of the disaster at the tricky par five, Phil was tied for the lead with Rory McIlroy. Unless Dustin Johnson stumbles, I don’t think the players at five under par have a chance to win, but you can never tell what could happen.
The group at five under includes PGA Rookie of the Year, Jordan Spieth, Keegan Bradley, US Open champ, Justin Rose, and President’s cup standout, Canadian, Graham DeLaet.
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