Kim leads as Spieth, Fowler start well at Texas Open

Sherman Parsons
April 9, 2019

Si Woo Kim extended his lead at the Texas Open to four shots with the help of an ace in the second round of the Valero Texas Open, with Graeme McDowell the best of the Irish.

Matt Kuchar, already a two-time victor on the PGA Tour this season and coming off a runner-up finish last week, is at 3-under par following a round that included six birdies and three bogeys.

"This week, I'd love to play well and get in contention and have a chance to win", Fowler said on Thursday.

The 2018 Masters runner-up had been rolling along with four birdies and an eagle at the par four fifth hole against one bogey before the let down. The three-time major victor responded confidently, though, making an eagle and five birdies, including successive birdies to finish at 17 and 18.

He remained on track with a birdie at the 14th after getting up and down from a greenside bunker and, after holing a clutch 12-footer for par at the 15th, he notched another birdie at the par-three 16th where he almost took out the flag with his tee shot. "Hit some good shots out there, made a few putts". This season he has finished second in the Sanderson Farms Championship and after Monday qualifying was third at the Sony Open.

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"It's not like there's a spark and all of a sudden you just win every event, this is progress this is part of a career", Spieth added. I made those adjustments mid-round and was able to shoot 5 under. In 10 previous rounds, he had never broken 70 here and his best finish was 22nd two years ago. Following a pair of top-five finishes at Pebble Beach and Los Angeles, his past three starts have included a missed cut and a tie for 56th.

Fowler had a share of the early lead with two holes to play. He bogeyed the par-four first hole for the second time this week after going blemish-free on Friday. This time, the ball rolled past the hole to inside four feet for what looked like an easy birdie. He punched out from the brush and faced a third shot still 250 yards from the green.

Fowler has not played on Tour since he was tied for 47th at the Players.

Kim's ace at the 167-yard 16th bounced up toward the flagstick, landed next to the lip of the cup and dropped in. Last year, Patrick Reed held off both Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth to earn the Green Jacket.

Jordan Spieth is looking for his first victory since the 2017 British Open.

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