Short-game maestro Luke Donald and Canadian Graham DeLaet both holed-out on Friday on the way to grabbing a share of the lead on 10-under-par after two rounds of the RBC Heritage in
Donald found the hole on a short pitch shot, nipping the ball off the grass short of the green into a mound and making it pause after one big bounce before the ball trickled into the cup for birdie at the last to complete a 4-under 67.
That tied the English former World No 1 with early starter DeLaet, who holed out a wedge shot from 109 yards to eagle the par-four ninth on his way to 67 on the
European Ryder Cup stalwart Ian Poulter of
Donald leaned heavily on his short game as he lost control off the tee, hitting just seven fairways, yet grabbing a share of the lead in his quest to take the next step after four runner-up finishes here.
“It was a little bit of a struggle today, but my short game certainly bailed me out,” Donald, 39, told the Golf Channel.
“The greens are very small and you’re not going to hit all of them, so you need to be good around the greens. I proved that the last couple of holes.”
DeLaet, seeking his first PGA Tour victory after three second-place finishes and three thirds, vaulted up the leaderboard with a red-hot run around the turn.
“I had a nice little stretch in the middle of my round. I birdied eight, then there was the ninth. At 10, I missed an eight-footer for birdie, and I birdied 11 and 12,” he said.
DeLaet is one of eight players to have accumulated $10million (about R134.2m) in earnings without a victory.
Donald said winning on Sunday would bring vindication.
“Would be a little bit of coming back to what I really feel like I can play,” he said. “The last couple of years have been a struggle, but I still feel like I’ve got some good years in me. I need to try and finish it off this weekend.”