Menu

Golf

Romero 1 clear in Puerto Rico

Andres Romero shot his second consecutive 7-under 65 on Friday and maintained a 1-stroke lead through two rounds of the Puerto Rico Open.

Romero, an overnight co-leader, carded nine birdies against a double bogey on Friday to finish 36 holes at 14-under 130. He is seeking his second PGA Tour win and first since capturing the Zurich Classic of New Orleans title in 2008.

"I'm just playing well. I started out very, very well," Romero said. "But really what's helped me is going back to my old putter. It's really been great for me. I had used that putter for a long time and then after awhile I changed it. And then besides playing the greens well, I'm also striking the ball well. So finally all three things have come together, putting well, hitting my irons well, driving well."

Scott Brown turned in a sparkling, second-round 63 and jumped into sole possession of second place at 13-under. He tied for 30th this year at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am -- his best finish on the PGA Tour to date.

Peter Uihlein and Steve LeBrun both fired 65s on the Composite Course at Trump International Golf Club and moved into a share of third place at 12-under. The former, a 2010 U.S. Amateur champion, tied for fourth last week at the European Tour's Tshwane Open.

"I felt like I've been playing well for a little while," Uihlein said. "And you know, it's the sixth week for me and I feel like every week's been good. It's just a matter of my scoring clubs, taking advantage of those."

Fabian Gomez (64) is alone in fifth place at 11-under, while nine players are deadlocked in sixth at minus-9.

Defending champion George McNeill bounced back from Thursday's 71 with a second-round 64 and joined the pack at 9-under. Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera (68) and overnight co-leader Cameron Percy (70) are also tied for sixth.

Romero birdied three of his first five holes on Friday, but after a pair of pars, he slipped to a double bogey on the par-3 eighth and made the turn at 8- under.

The Argentine then set out on a blistering inward nine, opening with back-to- back birdies before picking up shots at Nos. 13 and 15 to catch the clubhouse leader Uihlein at 12-under.

Romero then birdied two of his last three holes to grab the outright lead.

"I'm just going to try to keep things going, stay calm the way I've been doing," he continued. "I think that's the most important thing, just stay calm and take it one shot at a time, try not to think about what might happen on the 72nd hole."

Brown teed off in the afternoon and carded a 30 on his outward nine, which was highlighted with an eagle on the par-4 seventh and closed with consecutive birdies.

Another birdie on the 10th completed the birdie run before Brown finally cooled with a bogey on No. 14. He then reeled off back-to-back birdies and, after a par on No. 17, birdied the last to grab sole possession of second place.

Earlier, Uihlein picked up seven birdies during his bogey-free morning round to hit the clubhouse with the lead.

"Having the lead or being around the lead again is great," continued Uihlein. "It's the way you're going to get more comfortable at it. The only way you're going to get more comfortable at it is to keep doing it. So hope I can keep playing well, and I'm excited."

NOTES: Uihlein has recorded four consecutive top-25 finishes on the European Tour. He made three of five PGA Tour cuts as an amateur in 2011, but was 0- for-2 last year after going pro ... Kevin Na withdrew early in the second round with a back injury ... LeBrun's best finish on the PGA Tour was a tie for 46th in 2012 at the U.S. Open ... 17-year-old Si Woo Kim, who got his tour card via Q School last fall, withdrew after his opening round due to a back injury.