Halfway hut at the Valspar Championship: Keegan scores late as Casey stalls

A round-up of the best stats, quotes, betting and social after 36 holes of the 2021 Valspar Championship in Florida.

Overseas players have won the last four editions of the Valspar Championship in Florida but it's a pair of Americans who hold a healthy lead at the midway point this time.

Keegan Bradley and Sam Burns powered into a four-shot lead on Friday as U.S. golfers filled each of the first five places.

Burns fired a best-of-the-day 63 to post 12-under 130 before Bradley joined him in dramatic style, holing his second shot from 115 yards for a walk-off eagle and a round of 66. Both now own the tournament's 36-hole scoring record.

Lucas Glover, Max Homa and Charley Hoffman posted 8-under after rounds of 65, 68 and 66 respectively.

But there is an overseas presence lurking. Five players are tied for sixth on 7-under (five back) and they include South African Charl Schwartzel, Korean Sungjae Im and England's Tom Lewis.

Talking of Englishmen, the big story ahead of the event was whether Paul Casey could win the event for a third straight time.

Casey will have a crack at it having made the cut. But his task is a mountainous one after he could only sign for an even-par round of 71. That puts him tied 33rd and nine adrift going into the weekend.

That's the same score as Dustin Johnson while pre-tournament favourite Justin Thomas is a shot further back on 2-under.

Notable missed cuts: Patrick ReedJustin Rose and Phil Mickelson.

Paddy Power odds after 36 holes: 5/2 Keegan Bradley, Sam Burns, 12/1 Sungjae Im, Charley Hoffman, Max Homa, 14/1 Lucas Glover, 28/1 Jason Kokrak, Joaquin Niemann, 33/1 Charl Schwartzel, Cameron Tringale, 40/1 Zach Johnson, 50/1 Dustin Johnson, Tom Lewis, 66/1 Justin Thomas.

Click here for the leaderboard

Here are the best stats, quotes and social from the Copperhead Course after 36 holes.

Stats

Bradley has recorded an eagle, 11 birdies and just a single bogey so far.

He ranks 1st for both Strokes Gained: Approach and SG: Tee to Green. He's also 12th for SG: Off The Tee, 13th for SG: Putting and 21st for SG: Around the Green so everything is working well.

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Burns, who had five birdies in six holes from the 10th, leads the field in SG: Putting (6.093). He's also 4th for SG: Tee to Green.

This is actually Burns' fourth 36-hole lead/co-lead this season although he's yet to convert any (finished T7, T7 and 3rd). The American has yet to win in 75 PGA TOUR starts.

Bradley has had six previous 36-hole leads/co-leads at this level but converted just one: the 2011 PGA Championship.

One notable putting stat to come out of round two: Max Homa became the first player to make five putts from outside 25 feet in the first two rounds of an event in the ShotLink era (since 2003).

Quotes

Sam Burns after taking just 45 putts so far

"Well, I think these greens are all Bermuda and in the past we have had some overseed in there and these are straight Bermuda and that's what I grew up on. So I'm just comfortable around those. I think just playing on them every day back home, you're used to seeing grain, you kind of don't even think about it, but you know it's there and you're kind of calculating it in. So I think I just feel comfortable on these greens."

Keegan Bradley on holing out for a walk-off eagle

"I turned a good day into a great day. Man, it was a fun day and what a way to finish. It was a blast. I had 119 adjusted, hole. I played six yard of hurt, 125, it was a little into the wind, and I hit a perfect shot. And like I've been saying, you can't see the green from down there, so you have to wait for the crowd's reaction. And when everyone puts their arms up normally that means it goes in. So another bonus of having fans out here, it makes it a lot more exciting for everybody."

Lucas Glover describing his bogey-free 65

"Scrappy, I think, would be a good word. I thought I hit it pretty good and found myself on a lot of fringes and made a couple nice up-and-downs and made a mess of a couple holes and then chipped in. So just one of those days kind of like that. I had a couple chances coming in, just misread them, so happy with the way I'm playing, just tighten it up a little bit out of the fairway and see where we go."

Max Homa on his 68

"Very similar to yesterday. I did everything pretty well, drove it quite nice, never felt like I was way out of position anywhere. Still made a couple great putts too. So it just was basically the same day as yesterday, which is nice. Game feels like it's very repeatable at the moment. You go around a course like this without feeling too much anxiety, too much stress, that's a bonus."

Charl Schwartzel contrasting rounds one and two

"Just feeling very comfortable with my swing, my rhythm is really good and just sort of continuing from my ball striking from last week. Yesterday I had a bunch of opportunities, just ice cold putter, I think I had 34 putts, and today I made a few putts and that made the difference."

Dustin Johnson after improving on his opening 71 with a 68

"It was pretty solid. I hit quite a few good shots, hit a couple not so good ones. But I felt like it was a pretty solid day. I hit a lot of quality iron shots, which yesterday I really didn't do. Today I felt like I was swinging irons a lot better, had a little bit more control and gave myself some looks. So, yeah, I mean game's definitely feeling a little bit better."

Social

Keegan's special memories, Max Homa's red-hot putter, Sam Burns in cruise control, Kiradech Aphibarnrat's tree trouble and a walk-off eagle to tie the lead...

Bradley has history at Innisbrook

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Homa holes another bomb

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Sam burns it up

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Tree trouble for Kiradech

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Bradley's finishing eagle!

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