Putnam goes low to take OHL Classic lead

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Playa del Carmen, Mexico (SportsNetwork.com) - Michael Putnam shot a second-round, 7-under 64 on Friday and he has a 1-shot lead heading into the weekend at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.

There was a logjam atop the leaderboard after one round, but things started to take shape a bit during the second day as Putnam finished 36 holes at 12- under-par 130. Putnam has won three times on the Web.com Tour in his career, but he is still seeking his first PGA tour victory.

"We teed off at 6:15 this morning so it was pretty calm then actually the wind was opposite of what it usually is because it was so early," Putnam said. "Coming in I made a few birdies and got it to 7-under today and shot a 64."

Shawn Stefani and Jason Bohn shot matching 6-under 65s at El Camaleon Golf Course and they are right behind Putnam in second place at 11-under 131. Ken Duke carded the low round of the day with an 8-under 63, which vaulted him into fourth place at 10-under 132.

First-round co-leader Will MacKenzie, who ended day one tied with five others, fired a 68 in the second round and he is tied for fifth with Alex Cejka (67), David Hearn (65) and Nicholas Thompson (65) at 9-under 133. MacKenzie is the only first-round leader within three shots of Putnam.

Defending champion Harris English shot an even-par 71 on Friday and he is eight shots back at 4-under 138.

Putnam, who was one of 14 players to shoot a 66 on Thursday and finish one shot behind the leaders, used a strong front nine and a consistent back nine to jump into first place through 36 holes.

The 31-year-old got started with a birdie on the first and followed that up with a pair of pars on two and three. Putnam surged up the leaderboard by making four birdies in a five-hole stretch from No. 4, getting him to minus-5 on the day.

Putnam made the turn with four straight pars from No. 9 before pouring in his sixth birdie of the day on the par-5 13th. He continued to roll as Putnam made four more pars from No. 14 before draining his seventh and final gain at the last to complete his bogey-free 64.

"Kept it in between the trees, that's what you have to do out here," said Putnam. "And then hit a lot of greens, a lot of two putts. I think I made one eight footer for par today on 16 and that was really the only hole I might have made a bogey on. Other than that made a few good birdie putts, especially the one on 18."

Stefani also finished the first round one shot behind the leaders. Starting on the back nine, Stefani staggered birdies on 11, 13, 15 and 18 to complete a bogey-free first nine.

Stefani kept things going strong on the finishing nine with three birdies in a four-hole stretch from No. 2 to go along with a bogey on the par-4 third hole. Stefani closed out his round with four pars to end 36 holes at 11-under.

Bohn, another one of the 14 players to shoot a 66 Thursday, also began on the back nine and made three birdies in his first four holes on 10, 12 and 13. Bohn finished up the first nine with four pars and a birdie on 18.

It was a routine final nine for Bohn as he wrapped two gains on three and five around seven pars to conclude his 6-under 65.

"I played very well. I struck my golf ball well," Bohn said. "Here you have to drive it well. You have to get it in position. I kind of kept it out of the bush the first couple days so I've been able to position myself from the fairway and I've hit a lot of good iron shots and I've actually rolled my golf ball very nicely, hit a lot of good putts."

Duke distributed his birdies evenly on both the front and back nines. He made the turn at minus-4 after making gains on three, four seven and nine. It was also a strong finish for Duke. After making three straight pars from 10, Duke made four birdies on his final six holes on 13, 15, 17 and 18 to get within striking distance heading into Saturday.

NOTES: Putnam last won on the Web.com Tour at the 2013 Mid-Atlantic Championship. He has missed the cut twice in three events so far this year ... Putnam made a bogey on his first hole Thursday, but he has since gone bogey- free ... Bohn finished in a tie for third at this event last year. He also ended tied for second at last week's Sanderson Farms Championship ... With the cut falling at 3-under-par 139, 76 players advanced to play the weekend ... Some notable players who missed the cut are Davis Love III, Angel Cabrera, Camilo Villegas and Padraig Harrington.