SEA ISLAND, United States: American Kevin Chappell made a bunker shot for eagle at the par-5 15th hole on Friday (Saturday in Manila) to seize the lead after the second round of the US PGA’s RSM Classic.
The 29-year-old Californian, still seeking his first tour title, fired a five-under par 65 at the Seaside Course to stand on 11-under 131 after 36 holes, including an opening 66 on the par-72 Plantation course as well.
That put Chappell one stroke ahead of Sweden’s Freddie Jacobson and American Kevin Kisner with American Kyle Stanley fourth on 133. All three of the chasers fired 67 Friday.
Chappell made a solid start with back-to-back birdies at the fourth and fifth holes, then birdied the eighth and 10th as well. After his lone bogey of the day at the par-3 12th, Chappell answered with style at the 15th.
Chappell went for the green with his second shot on the 566-yard hole but his ball wound up in a long, narrow greenside bunker. His 45-yard shot to the flag required clearing a knee-high lip to the bunker and hitting the ball hard enough to reach the pin.
The ball flew about 30 yards, bounced twice and then curved slightly to the right before dropping into the bottom of the cup. Chappell followed that with three pars to close atop the leaderboard.
Jacobson, playing at Plantation, began with a bogey but birdied four of the next seven holes and closed with birdies at the par-5 16th and 18th to stay on Chappell’s heels.
Kisner and Stanley were each three-under at Seaside with four birdies and a bogey.
Japan’s Hiroshi Iwata shared fifth on 134 after back-to-back 67s with Germany’s Alex Cejka and Americans Jason Gore and Michael Kim.
Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell shared ninth on 135 alongside Americans Trey Mullinax, Ricky Barnes and Jim Herman.