Hero World Challenge Halfway Hut: Bryson DeChambeau surges into the lead with 64

Day two news, quotes and social after 36 holes at Albany in the Bahamas where golf’s biggest hitter holds a one-shot lead.

There was a general feeling that The Match between Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka in Las Vegas last week was a piece of silly-season frippery.

Who really cared?

And yet whatever the merits of their 12-hole showdown in Sin City (it lasted only nine!), it seems to have sharpened them up for this week's 20-man shootout in the Bahamas.

The evidence: DeChambeau leads by a shot while Koepka is in a three-way tie for second place.

Does that mean we get a rematch in round three? Unfortunately not.

But let's not feel underwhelmed by the line-up for Saturday's action.

DeChambeau will peg it up alongside Open champion and newly-crowned Race to Dubai winner Collin Morikawa while Koepka will head out alongside fellow Ryder Cup star Tony Finau.

Three groups back we get a reprise of one of the Ryder Cup's most famous singles duels as Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed do battle.

DeChambeau surged into top spot on 11-under after making 10 birdies in a second-round 64. It could have been even better but for a double bogey at 16.

Koepka, who won The Match, compiled a second straight 67 to reach 10-under, a number matched by Morikawa and Finau. They both fired 6-under 66s.

One frustration this week is that no stats are being recorded.

DeChambeau with the lead

A stat we can use is DeChambeau's record with a 36-hole lead.

He's had 10 on the PGA Tour/European Tour in his career but, here's the rub, the Californian has converted just once - at the 2019 Dubai Desert Classic.

In three of the last four, he finished runner-up. History says from this position DeChambeau gets pipped.

Quotes

More frustration for punters. DeChambeau didn't speak to the press afterwards. Thankfully, some other leading contenders did.

Brooks Koepka (-10, 67)

"I've got my swing under somewhat control - it's not 100 percent but it's really, really close. We're figuring it out and I'm just happy with everything right now.

(On a possible rematch with DeChambeau) "I don't give any thought to it because there should be no Part 2. I mean, I won the online battle, he can't trash talk, and I've won the golf. So 2-0, it's tough to come back from."

Collin Morikawa (-10, 66)

"You know, when I put myself in the fairway, I was converting, I was making the birdies when I needed to.

"Still felt like the driver's a little off, but that's just something, you know, get a little timing a little bit better tomorrow and the next day and we'll be just fine.

"So it was kind of like an up-and-down day, hit some really good shots in that middle back end of the round where I went birdie-birdie-eagle and just got to use that momentum for tomorrow.

"The putting feels good, which is great. I've just got to keep that up and just hit some good shots and get it in the fairways a little more often for these last two days."

Tony Finau (-10, 66)

"I played nicely. Hit a lot of fairways, which is important I think out here. Didn't hit in the sandy areas too often so was able to control the ball into the greens and just put together a solid round of golf.

"I think I had like seven (birdies) yesterday or something and I think six or seven today. Making some birdies out there, which is nice, and I think you've got to do on this golf course."

Daniel Berger (-9, 69)

"It was a poor ball-striking day, a poor driving day, but I hung in there and I'm still in the golf tournament so that's the important thing after today.

"I just hit way more bad shots today than I did yesterday and I didn't make four birdies to start the day, so that always makes it tougher. But it was good to finish strong with a couple birdies coming down the stretch. Like I said, in a good position come tomorrow."

Sam Burns (-8, 65)

"A little bit better than yesterday. I don't know, just kind of everything was a little bit off yesterday. I putted it pretty good, but couldn't get enough looks.

"Then today just kind of got in a rhythm early. Made a good 5 on the par-5 3rd, hit it over there left of the green and then left it down there and then chipped it up about 15 feet and made it and that kind of just got me going a little bit.

"Yeah, overall great day. Travis (caddie) did a really good job out there with the wind, some of the crosswinds. Yeah, overall solid round."

Best bet

Collin Morikawa can go to World No.1 with victory this week and he's in fantastic position to do so.

There's a feeling that everything he touches this year turns to gold so this would be an appropriate way for the American star to round off a brilliant 2021.

DeChambeau's record when leading suggests he's vulnerable and Morikawa is an absolute demon when getting the sniff of victory.

Back him to get it done this weekend.

Social

DeChambeau stiffs one

Eagle alert! Morikawa makes a move

Rory's sweet swing

Finau's final-hole flourish

READ MORE: Review of the season: A look at how Europe's elite came up short in 2021

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