The RBC Heritage Halfway Hut: “Dream finish” sets up a victory bid for Patrick Cantlay

News, stats, quotes and social after 36 holes at Harbour Town where the Ryder Cup star holds a two-shot lead.

It has been a difficult year for Patrick Cantlay, the man who closed the 2020/21 season with back-to-back victories and a starring role in Team USA's Ryder Cup victory.

When he re-emerged in the New Year he reeled off four consecutive top 10 finishes, but each of them was frustrating as he hit the top of the leaderboard without ever finding a way to stay there.

Perhaps that explains what happened next: a downbeat effort at the Genesis Invitational, a missed cut in THE PLAYER Championship, no exit from the group stages of the WGC - Dell Match Play and a failure to break 70 when T39th at the Masters last week.

He needed a spark.

He needed it even more when, having hit the top of the RBC Heritage leaderboard midway through the second round, he headed backwards with a pair of bogeys.

Then the spark re-ignited. He drained four birdies in a row to complete a 67 in his second circuit of Harbour Town, holing putts of seven to 20-feet on each of those greens, and he heads into the weekend on 9-under 133, two blows clear of Robert Streb.

"A dream finish," he said afterwards. "I finally rolled in some putts and that's really nice to see going into the weekend.

"It was tough out there, and I figured any round under-par or around even-par would be a win for today.

"This is a golf course I really like and have played well on. I've been hitting the ball well and just need to roll in a few putts like I did at the end today."

Behind Streb the leaderboard is stacked. There are 11 players within two shots of second and 33 within four blows.

Stats

Unlike last week at Augusta National, when being near the top of the leaderboard mattered at this stage, Harbour Town's quirky test and blustery winds are made for weekend charges.

No less than 11 of the last 25 winners of this event were outside the top five at this stage, six were T10th or worse, and three were outside the top 20.

Seven of those 25 winners overcame a deficit of five shots or more at this stage (11 were at least four back).

Par-4 Performance is key this week. Last year Stewart Cink ranked fifth on them, but before him the previous six winners were all ranked top two.

The current Par-4 leaders are: 1. Jordan Spieth (T8th), 2. Cantlay (leading), Cameron Young (T3rd) and Sahith Theegala (T43rd - he's been appalling on the par-3s and par-5s).

Cantlay has a somewhat surprising 1-for-7 record at converting from halfway on the Korn Ferry Tour and PGA Tour. He did also lead at halfway in the TOUR Championship, which he did win, but the "lead" was the consequence of starting strokes.

The forecast is for more straightforward weekend conditions.

Quotes

Patrick Cantlay (leading on 9-under)

"This course frames the shots you need to hit on each and every hole, you can't just hit stock shots all day. I really like working the golf ball, flighting it in. If you do that around this golf course, you get rewarded."

Robert Streb (solo second on 7-under)

"Obviously, I haven't played fantastic around this place, so getting it around in the wind was really good for me. (For the weekend), I probably just need not to get ahead of myself. For me here, if I can just find a way to flight the driver and maybe hit a few wedges close, that'd be pretty helpful."

Cameron Tringale (tied third 6-under)

"I've sort of got away with some not great tee shots, but I'm hitting my irons really solid and positioning, keeping it in quality position in and around the greens. Making all the putts around the hole. I like where I'm at."

Erik Van Rooyen (tied third 6-under)

"That was A-plus. Hit the ball extremely well the last two days. I do enjoy the wind. It brings out the creativity in me. You've got to hit it low and fade it, then draw it around trees, and with the wind or against the wind. On this golf course you've got to do that, and I do that quite well."

Matt Kuchar (tied eighth 5-under)

"I've played in some tough conditions out here, but this was about as strong a wind, as unpredictable a wind as I've ever played. I don't know that anyone deep down loves it. I think some people realize they may have a slight advantage. I think everybody loves pristine, perfect conditions. That's when you really look forward to playing. I certainly know the other side, that you have a chance of climbing up the leaderboard a little bit more on a tough day if you're able to put together a good round."

Social

It was a bit blowy Friday:

All sorts is happening here:

Your guess is as good as ours:

"It was fun ... bye"

READ MORE: 50 years: From the 1972 European Tour to the 2022 DP World Tour - a lot has changed

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