(Reuters) – Former champion Martin Laird of Scotland eagled his final hole to grab a share of the early second-round clubhouse lead with Patrick Cantlay at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas on Friday.
Laird, who started on the back nine, had six birdies before a closing eagle for an eight-under-par 63 that brought him to 14 under on the week at TPC Summerlin and level with Cantlay (65).
After safely finding the fairway at the par-five ninth, Laird’s five iron from 238 yards avoided a greenside bunker and hit the front edge of the green before rolling to three feet.
“Obviously I wasn’t sure I could get that club there. I was just trying to hit out in front of the green and it came out really good and skipped up there to four feet,” Laird, who won the event in 2009, said of his approach shot at the last. “That was a nice way finish what was overall a very good day.”
Spaniard Sergio Garcia (64), James Hahn (66) and Nate Lashley (67) were two shots back of the leaders.
Garcia, who last week claimed his 11th PGA Tour victory after a drought of more than three years, enjoyed a bogey-free trip around TPC Summerlin that included an eagle from 111 yards out at the par-four sixth hole.
“It’s funny because I felt — earlier in the year I felt like I was playing as well as I’ve been playing the last week and a half; just things weren’t really happening,” said Garcia.
“So obviously it’s a combination of playing well, confidence, couple good breaks when you need them at the right time that keeps your round going, and that’s what I did.”
Defending champion Kevin Na (66) was four shots off the early pace after a round in which he birdied four of his final seven holes.
Overnight leader Bryson DeChambeau, in his first tournament since his U.S. Open triumph three weeks ago, was among the late starters.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis)