The Associated PressSAN ANTONIO (AP) — Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth are successfully fine-tuning their preparations for the Masters.
However, they haven’t been able to match Si Woo Kim so far at the Valero Texas Open.
First-round leader Kim used a late-round hole-in-one Friday to build a four-shot lead at the halfway point of the PGA Tour’s last stop before the Masters.
Kim, the 2017 Players Championship winner, led by one heading into the second round before shooting a 6-under 66.
Kim aced TPC San Antonio’s 16th hole and is 12 under through 36 holes. He leads six players at 8 under, including Fowler and Spieth.
“The first days here,” Kim said, “I’ve been feeling good. I don’t want to change anything.”
Fowler led on the back nine until consecutive bogeys late in the round.
“Yeah, at 15 and 16, kind of a little unforced errors,” Fowler said. “That happens. I hit some good shots out there and made a few putts. I’m happy with it. Obviously in a good spot going into the weekend.”
Joining Fowler and Spieth — both shot 68 — are Harold Varner (66), Adam Schenk (66), Kyoung-Hoon Lee (67) and Monday-qualifier Corey Connors (67).
Lee got it to 9 under before a bogey on his final hole of the day.
Kim’s ace on the 167-yard 16th bounced up toward the flagstick, landed next to the lip of the cup and dropped in.
He has gone 26 holes without a bogey and has nine birdies along with the ace.
“I was trying to hit to the left edge of the bunker, with the wind,” Kim said.
“It was a 9-iron. I saw the bounce, but I never saw it go in.”
Byeong Hun An (68), Matt Jones (68), Rory Sabbatini (68), Scott Stallings (69), Brian Stuard (70), Josh Teater (68) and Jim Knous (67) are 7 under.
Graeme McDowell, who won for the first time since 2015 last week at the PGA Tour’s event in the Dominican Republic, has shot consecutive 69s and is joined at 6 under by Scott Brown, Hank Lebioda, Ryan Moore and Jhonattan Vegas.