Andrew Putnam fired a 7-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead halfway through the Shell Houston Open (SHO), but five-time Major champion Phil Mickelson is one of four players hot on his heels through 36 holes.
Putnam jumped up from eighth thanks to red-hot streak of six birdies in seven holes on the front nine. He did not record a bogey all day, and has just one through the first two days.
Mickelson had two bogeys but counter-balanced that with seven birdies. He’s tied for second with American Austin Cook, who fired a 65 to also reach 11-under.
The field is thick with contenders, including young Jordan Spieth, who rose to 9-under with his 66 that was largely made on the back nine where he notched six birdies.
Headed in the opposite direction was Day One leader Scott Piercy, who followed up his record-tying 63 on Thursday with a 2-over 74 to tumble to a tie for 18th. After racking up nine birdies on Thursday, Piercy struggled out of the gate with a double bogey on No. 3, and bogeys on 4 and 6.
The cut came at 4-under.