Sung Kang closing in on Masters spot at Shell Houston Open

Ross Houston
April 2, 2017

South Korea s Kang Sung scorched the Tournament Course at the Golf Club of Houston on Friday, firing a nine-under par 63 for a record-setting second-round lead at the Houston Open.

"On 15 or 16, I looked at the leaderboard, and Rickie was at like eight under par for the day".

American Rickie Fowler shot a flawless first round of 64 to post the clubhouse lead on eight under par at the Shell Houston Open.

Fowler's 5-under 67 was good enough for solo second at 14 under.

Rafael Campos (68), Daniel Berger (71) and Kyle Stanley (71) are tied for fifth at 8 under.

Aaron Baddeley remains the best of the Australians at T8 after a 1-over 73 dropped him three places down the standings. "The wind was murder". Nothing compared with Augusta National, though the greens are faster and rough has been shaved to create tightly mown collection areas.

Fowler overcame a seven-stroke deficit to reel in Kang, only to stumble at the end with a bogey at the 17th and a double-bogey at the par-four 18th.

Kang - who would secure a late invite to the Masters with victory this week - holed a 20-foot birdie at the 11th but lost his outright lead when Fowler racked up three consecutive gains from the 12th.

After shooting a 65 on Thursday, Kang was at 16-under 128 through two rounds, breaking by one stroke the 36-hole tournament record of 129, set previously by Blaine McCallister in 1993 and Curtis Strange in 1980. It was real impressive.

Fowler bogeyed the par-4 17th after hitting his drive into a bunker and missing a two-foot putt for par. "It was a great day of golf, and I put myself in a position to win a golf tournament tomorrow".

Fowler said he "can't really dwell" on his last two holes. We just managed our way around very well, hit a lot of our lines and a lot of good shots and made good putts.

"We come into every tournament with the idea that we want to win that week and our focus is on that week".

However, he kept his poise and parred the last two holes for a three-shot lead heading into Sunday's final round.

Fowler has played Nos. After opening in twin 67s, the 29-year-old played out of the final threesome with Kang and fellow Georgia Bulldog Russell Henley, who shot 71 and 69, respectively.

Fowler said several of his drives had collected mud on the damp fairways at the Golf Club of Houston, leading to some guesswork on approach shots, with the flight of the ball hard to predict.

"That nearly made this become very easy for me to put on the schedule and change things up", Scott said.

"I'll give it a try.' That's what I told him last week".

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