Maverick the top gun at midway point

18 September 2021 20:58:44 GMTPlus11
Maverick McNealy setting the pace

Maverick McNealy managed to card a second-round 64 despite three consecutive bogeys to open up a two-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Fortinet Championship.

McNealy, who is 34.00 to win the Fortinet Championship, fired nine birdies and an eagle in the joint-best round of the day to put himself in pole position to secure his first win on the PGA Tour.

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Maverick made fast start

Having started the day three shots off the lead, McNealy wasted little time in eradicating the deficit with three birdies in his first four holes, adding two more to reach the turn at -9.

His round threatened to come unstuck with three successive bogeys but he recovered his composure to hit the birdie trail again, picking up four more before his last hole.

And the 25-year-old saved the best for last, holing out from 74 yards with a sand wedge for an eagle, and a two-shot lead going into the weekend.

McNealy took the philosophical approach to his bogey run after the turn and is delighted to find himself perched on top of the leaderboard, although admitting it would be even better if he managed to retain his position by the end of play on Sunday.

"The front nine I played just about flawless golf," McNealy told PGATour.com. "Made the turn and it's funny how things go. All of a sudden I made three bogeys in a row.

"It's great to be at the top of the leaderboard now but it means a heck of a lot more to be at the top at the end of 72 holes."

Hossler enjoyed strong day

Beau Hossler was able to equal McNealy's 64 to climb into a share of second with Mito Pereira (67), one shot clear of the trio of Will Zalatoris, Troy Merritt and Bronson Burgoon.

Overnight leader Chez Reavie endured a disastrous round of 75, which included five bogeys and a double, to slip out of contention, eight shots off the pace at -4.

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