November 18, 2017 / 12:42 AM / a year ago

Rookie Cook takes lead at RSM Classic

(Reuters) - PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook shot an eight-under-par 62 to take a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay in the second round of the RSM Classic on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Oct 27, 2017; Jackson, MS, USA; Austin Cook lines up for a putt on the 9th hole during the second round of the Sanderson Farms Championship golf tournament at Country Club of Jackson. Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

The 26-year-old sank a six-foot putt at his final hole for his eighth birdie of the day to finish on 14-under overall at the Sea Island Golf Club in coastal Georgia.

“We’ve just been able to hit the ball really well,” he said.

“The speed on the greens has been really good and getting up and down has been great.

“I’ve been able to hit it pretty close to the hole where it makes for pretty stress-free putts. But the couple of putts that I have had of length for par I’ve been able to roll them in,” he added.

Gay also coped well with the elements on Friday, mixing seven birdies with one bogey for a second-round 64 to sit one stroke back of Cook.

“There is a lot of trouble out here especially with the wind blowing,” he said.

“But I haven’t had to make too many saves the first couple of days and I’ve putted well.”

The course could play differently over the weekend if the wind changes directions and starts to blow in from the south, he said.

Three players - Chris Kirk, Vaughn Taylor and Taiwan’s Pan Cheng-tsung - are tied for third at nine-under.

Brandt Snedeker, playing in his first tournament since coming back from a sternum injury, shot a 67 on Friday that featured a 39-foot birdie putt on the par-4 6th hole. He ended the day tied for sixth with five other players at eight-under.

“There has been no pain at all. I’ve been shocked at how good my body has felt,” he said.

“My game is in a really, really good place and my mind is in a really great place because I’m probably the most excited guy about being out here on the weekend.

“I’m really fresh and can’t wait to get after it.”

Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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