Jon Rahm of Spain fired a 5-under-par 66 on Friday to seize sole possession of first place after two rounds of the Mexico Open in Vallarta, Mexico.
Rahm entered the day as part of a six-way tie atop the leaderboard. He set himself apart with another strong round that included eight birdies and three bogeys, placing him at 12 under par entering the third round.
“The wind makes it a completely different golf course,” the world #2 said. “Yesterday, except the last four holes or so, we enjoyed a wind-free day and you can be a little bit more aggressive with certain shots. Even with a couple longer irons, you’re just comfortable hitting it at the pin because those greens are receptive. …
“So I feel like I might be a little bit more satisfied with today’s score than yesterday. Yesterday I felt like I was really under control and relatively speaking stress-free, right? Today was a bit more of a grind, but still a really good round of golf.”
Alex Smalley is two strokes behind Rahm at 10 under after also recording a 5-under 66 on Friday. Smalley drained an eagle from 165 yards on the par-4 third hole, and he added five birdies and two bogeys during the round.
Six players are tied for third place, three strokes off the lead at 9 under.
Adam Long, Cameron Champ and Patrick Reed are included in the logjam at third place after shooting 66 in the second round. Andrew Novak (67), Brandon Hagy (67) and Trey Mullinax (69) are also 9 under through two rounds.
Long said he could start feeling the energy from being in contention as the weekend approached.
“I guess you feel it a little bit now,” Long said. “You know that the weekend’s going to mean a lot and you’re going to have a chance on the weekend if you have two more good rounds, you’ll be right there. But there is certainly a lot of golf left.”