(Reuters) - David Toms, seeking his first PGA Tour win since 2011, played to his strengths of accuracy and patience as he charged into a tie for the lead on Friday in the second round of the Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, Mississippi.
The 47-year-old American piled up six birdies, including four in his last six holes, to card a flawless six-under-par 66 after teeing off on a chilly morning at the Country Club of Jackson.
Toms signed off by sinking a five-footer to birdie his final hole, the ninth, for a 10-under total of 134 and finish level with compatriot John Rollins, who also returned a 66.
Rollins briefly got to 11 under with his eighth birdie of the round, at the 15th, but slipped back with a bogey at the par-four 17th where he missed the green with his approach.
Canadian Nick Taylor was alone at eight under after shooting a 69 before play was suspended due to fading light with 15 players still on the course. They will complete the second round on Saturday.
Toms was delighted with his course management after covering his back nine in four-under 32.
”I‘m playing really solid,“ the 13-times PGA Tour winner told Golf Channel. ”I‘m being real patient on the golf course. I‘m playing to my strengths, trying to get the ball in the fairway (off the tee).
“My iron game is pretty good right now if I have a good (yardage) number. And if I don’t have a good number, I play conservative. I am starting to putt a little bit better so that helps as well.”
Toms relished being grouped with fellow American Lucas Glover and triple major winner Padraig Harrington of Ireland for the first two rounds.
“We probably had more conversation than I’ve had in a long time,” said Toms. “We have a lot in common, have played a lot of golf together, all three of us. We had a good time.”
Relaxed company helped all three players as Glover fired a 67 to end the second round four shots off the pace while Harrington was a further stroke back, after a 69.
The cut was projected to fall at one-under 143 with former major winners Trevor Immelman of South Africa, American David Duval and South Korean Yang Yong-eun among those unlikely to advance.
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene Cherry