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PGA TOUR: Stroud moves up with 66; Landry tied for 11th

It was another good day for Port Neches-Groves exes Friday in the second round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. Actually, it was a great day for Chris Stroud.

While Andrew Landry backed his opening 67 with a 68 and stayed on the fringe of the top 10 at 135, Stroud rolled in seven birdies on the way to a 5-under-par 66 and 137. That rocketed him 47 places up the leaderboard into a tie for 24th.

Rickie Fowler holds the lead at 129 (64-65), while Justin Thomas is a stroke back at 130 (64-66).

Once again playing in back-to-back threesomes, Stroud and Landry started fast, wobbled a bit on the back, then closed strong.

Playing the back nine first, Stroud made the turn in four under, dropped a shot on his 11th hole, rebounded with a birdie, dropped another shot at his 15th, then made back-to-back birdies. Stroud’s iron play was so good, four of his birdies came from inside six feet.

Accurate iron shots and a great putting day — he’s No. 1 in strokes gained
putting and No. 4 in putts per green in regulation — helped Stroud overcome
shaky driving. He hit 9 of 14 fairways and is 15 of 28 at the halfway mark.

Stroud probably saved his round by making a bogey putt from 7 feet after an errant drive cost him a penalty on his 15th hole. That dropped him back to three-under for the day but he quickly bounced back by hitting it stiff for birdie on his 16th hole, then following that up by sinking a 14-foot birdie after driving into a bunker on his 17th hole.

The 66 matched Stroud’s low round of the year carded last week in the Farmers Insurance Open.

Landry, meanwhile, made the turn in three-under with birdies from under 4 feet on the par-5 13th and 15th holes and the par-4 18th. He got to minus-4 for the day, minus-8 overall and into a tie for sixth with with a 7-foot birdie on his 11th hole.

The round, however, looked to be getting away when Landry made back-to-back bogeys on his 13th and 14th holes and was staring at an 8-footer for par on the 15th. But he rolled that one in and righted the ship two holes later with a birdie from 11 feet, 3 inches.

Television coverage of the third round begins Saturday at noon on the Golf
Channel. NBC (KJAC-12.2) takes off at 2 p.m., with veteran announcer Johnny Miller doing color for the final time.

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