Bud Cauley claws way into share of Texas Open lead

Cauley shot a bogey-free 66 to seize a share of the lead alongside Tony Finau at the halfway mark of the tournament.

Bud Cauley hits out of a fairway bunker on the 17th hole during the second round of the Texas Open.   -  AP

Bud Cauley had to reach deep into his bag of tricks on Friday to shoot a bogey-free 66 and seize a share of the lead at the halfway mark of the Texas Open. Cauley, who is seeking his first win on the US PGA Tour, missed eight of 18 greens but managed to scramble each time and make par.

He tallied six birdies and 12 pars in blustery conditions to finish in a tie with fellow American Tony Finau at eight-under 136 at the TPC San Antonio. Finau shot a seven-under 65. "It was windy out there so it was tough," said Cauley. "I knew I was going to miss some greens. But I was able to leave it in the right spot most of the time and save some shots out there. It seems like every hole is almost straight down or straight in so you know what you are getting. You just have to try and par the holes that are into the wind."

This is Cauley's 108th start on the Tour without a win and his first career co-lead or outright lead after 36 holes. He can take comfort in the fact that four of the last six 36 hole leaders have gone on to win the Texas Open.

Finau had a roller-coaster ride Friday with eight birdies, one eagle and three bogeys. He made an excellent read on a downward sloping putt for birdie on the 10th hole and then got up and down from 83 yards for another birdie on the par-five 14th, the easiest hole of the tournament.

"Yesterday I got behind the eight ball pretty fast," said Finau of his opening 71. "Today I was able to get off to a better start and you need that on this golf course."

Cameron Smith (65), Bob Estes (69), Kevin Chappell (68) and Robby Shelton (69) were one stroke back of the leaders and tied for third at 137. John Huh (71), Kevin Tway (68) and Jonathan Randolph (70) are another shot back at 138. Seven players, including Jimmy Walker (69), Martin Laird of Scotland (67) and first-round leader Brendan Grace of South Africa - are at 139, three shots behind the leaders.

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