NAPA, California — Former Georgia Tech golfer Chesson Hadley flirted with breaking 60 in Friday’s second round of the Safeway Open.
Hadley parred his final two holes – one of which was a par-5 – to shoot 11-under-par 61 in the PGA Tour season opener.
He’s tied for second place, one shot off the lead of Tyler Duncan, who had 66 to move to 13-under 131. Hadley is tied with defending champion and first round leader Brendan Steele, who shot 67.
Aiken resident Scott Brown shot 74 and made the cut on the number. Missing the cut, at 143, was Evans resident Vaughn Taylor (71 for 144), former Louisville resident Brian Gay (72 for 147) and former USC Aiken golfer Matt Atkins (75 for 144).
European Tour: In St. Andrews, Scotland, Tommy Fleetwood broke the course record at Carnoustie by shooting 9-under-par 63 to tie for the lead with defending champion Tyrrell Hatton after two rounds of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Friday.
Hatton also tamed the tough British Open venue, shooting 65 to move to 11-under par for the tournament. The English golfers were a stroke clear of Nicolas Colsaerts, and two ahead of Paul Dunne and Marcel Siem.
Playing his first event since becoming a father for the first time last week, Fleetwood birdied six of the last eight holes to complete a bogey-free round and beat the course record by a shot.
Carnoustie is regarded as the most difficult of the three courses that stage the tournament. Kingsbarns and the Old Course at St. Andrews are the others, with players alternating between the three in the first three rounds before playing at St. Andrews again for the final round.
Fleetwood holds a big lead in the Race to Dubai rankings despite playing in only one of the last seven tournaments on the European Tour. This season, he has won the Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open, finished second at a World Golf Championship in Mexico, and placed fourth at the U.S. Open.
He has three top-five finishes at the Dunhill Links, which he says is one of his favorite events.
Hatton followed up a 68 at the Old Course with an even better round at Carnoustie, featuring birdies on four of the last six holes — including chipping in at the par-3 16th.
Rory McIlroy shot 71 at Carnoustie and was even par after two rounds. Eleven shots off the lead, McIlroy is likely to finish a season without a victory for just the second time in his pro career.