Im takes D.R. lead in bid for Masters berth

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic — Seemingly needing to win to get a Masters spot by means of the world rating, Sung-jae Im rebounded from an early double-bogey to take the second-round lead Friday within the PGA Tour’s Corales Puntacana Resort & Membership Championship.

“After that dangerous begin, my purpose was to stay calm all through the remainder of my spherical,” Im mentioned. “I am hitting the ball very well, so I believe that led to a number of my birdies. Having the ability to management my thoughts helped me get these birdies as effectively.”

A day earlier than his 21st birthday, the South Korean participant completed together with his second straight 5-under 67 for a one-stroke lead over Jonathan Byrd (67), Aaron Baddeley (67), Paul Dunne (69) and George McNeill (65).

At 59th this week, Im must get into the highest 50 within the subsequent rating to play at Augusta Nationwide. The winner does not earn an automated Masters spot as a result of the occasion is being performed reverse the World Golf Championships occasion in Texas.

Im adopted the double-bogey on his second gap — the par-Three 11th — with birdies on 4 of the subsequent 5 holes.

“It is a lengthy par Three, about 220 meters to the outlet. There was wind blowing towards me, so I hit my Three-wood,” Im mentioned. “My shot ended up within the again bunker and it was sitting on a troublesome downslope, so it wasn’t an important state of affairs. In hindsight, if I’d’ve given the shot an additional thought and calmed myself down extra, I might’ve walked away with a bogey, however I rushed issues and that led to an unlucky begin.”

On his again 9, he rebounded from a bogey on the par-Three second with birdies on 4 of the ultimate seven holes.

Jonas Blixt was eight below after a 65, and Graeme McDowell adopted a gap 73 with a 64 to high the group at 7 below.

“Performed OK yesterday, apart from my medium- and long-iron play was a bit rusty,” McDowell mentioned. “The remainder of it was actually good, so I knew if I might clear that up at present that all the pieces could be good. And it was very benign circumstances this morning. It was good to start out on the entrance, which might be the better 9.”

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo shot 79-80 to complete 127th out of the 128 gamers who accomplished two rounds. Taking part in as an beginner, the CBS analyst had his lone birdie of the week on the par-Four eighth after making a triple-bogey on the outlet Thursday.

“I took the identical membership however determined to tee it a bit decrease, just a bit stinger shot,” Romo mentioned. “I putted horrible all through the week, and you’re feeling like you’ll be able to hit the ball for actually good stretches, however you get nothing out of it.”

He completed final a 12 months in the past.

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