PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico (AP) — Chris Stroud made eight straight birdies – one off the PGA Tour record – and shot a 63 on Friday to take a three-stroke lead at 11-under 131 after the second round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
“You can never get ahead of yourself,” Stroud said. “Tomorrow is another day. I’ve got to come out and do the same thing tomorrow and look for a consistent routine and stick to my process, and whatever happens at the end of the week is where I end up.”
Winless in five seasons on the PGA Tour, the 29-year-old Stroud birdied Nos. 9-16. Mark Calcavecchia set the record of nine straight birdies in the second round of the 2009 Canadian Open at Glen Abbey.
“I was just trying to stay out of my own way,” Stroud said. “I wasn’t really thinking about it. I really had two good chances on 17 and 18, had about a 25-footer up the hill and then probably an 18-footer on 18.
“Seventeen, I left it a little short and I told myself, ‘Let’s just hit a good putt.’ I hit a pretty good one, but it didn’t break.”
Kevin Stadler (66), Cameron Percy (66) and Sunghoon Kang (67) were tied for second on the Greg Norman-designed El Camaleon course south of Cancun on the Caribbean coast. Johnson Wagner (66), Fredrik Jacobson (67), Jarrod Lyle (66), Billy Horschel (65), William McGirt (67), Kent Jones (68) and Spencer Levin (67) were 7 under.
Stroud began the birdie run with an 8-foot putt, made a 10-footer on No. 10, and added an 18-footer on 11. On the par-4 12th, he lipped out a 6-iron approach and holed a 6-footer. He made a 4-foot putt on the par-5 13th after hitting a 2-iron just short of the green and chipping.
The former Lamar player made a 25-footer on 14, hit an 8-iron to 2 feet on the par-3 15th, then made another 25-footer on 16 for his final birdie.
“Everybody knows it out here, it’s all putting,” Stroud said. “Most of us hit it pretty well, and a lot of days when you don’t hit that well and you putt and chip well, you’re still going to make a pretty good score.”
He missed the cuts in his last three events, shooting 74-73 last week at Riviera.
“I’ve actually been playing pretty well,” Stroud said. “This is my fifth event this year. I played pretty well in California, only made one cut out of four, and that just goes to show you how difficult the PGA Tour is. You can play well and not make a cut.
“I knew if I just hung in there and was patient this week, and everything sort of clicked over nine holes. I made all the putts I’ve been missing for the last four weeks all at once.”
David Toms, tied for the first-round lead after a 66, had a 70 to drop into a tie for 12th at 6 under. Defending champion Cameron Beckman was at 5 under after a 70.
Aaron Baddeley, the Riviera winner, missed the cut with rounds of 74 and 71. Bob Hope Classic champion Jhonattan Vegas was 3 under, following an opening 74 with a 65.
John Daly missed the cut, shooting 73-75.