Keith Mitchell sets the gold standard at CJ Cup

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Keith Mitchell's five-stroke lead at the CJ CUP is the largest on PGA Tour after 36 holes since Stewart Cink led by five at the 2021 RBC Heritage. Photo: Timesfreepress.com
Keith Mitchell's five-stroke lead at the CJ CUP is the largest on PGA Tour after 36 holes since Stewart Cink led by five at the 2021 RBC Heritage. Photo: Timesfreepress.com

At 18-under 126, Keith Mitchell sets new tournament record for the CJ CUP and a career-best opening 36-hole score. Mitchell’s five-stroke lead is the largest after 36 holes in tournament history.

 

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Jordan Spieth birdied four of his last six holes to sit T2 in his season debut.

Adam Scott stands T2 after a career-best 14 one-putt holes; plays final seven holes in 8-under, including two eagles.

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Seonghyeon Kim carded a bogey-free 63 to emerge as the leading Korean (T2).

Abraham Ancer sank the first albatross of the 2021-22 Season after holing a 250-yard fairway shot with a 4-iron.

 

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Mackenzie Hughes shot the low round of the day with a bogey-free 62, highlighted by one eagle and eight birdies.

After equaling his career-low round (62) on Thursday, Mitchell posted an 8-under 64 to establish personal-best opening 36-hole score by five strokes (131/2018 Wyndham Championship). Shattered his previous-best opening 36-hole score in relation to par by six strokes (-12/2018 Corales Puntacana Championship).

 

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The 18-under 126 marks the lowest 36-hole score since Russell Henley opened 126 at the 2021 Wyndham Championship.

His five-stroke lead is the largest on PGA Tour after 36 holes since Stewart Cink led by five at the 2021 RBC Heritage. The previous-largest 36-hole lead at the CJ CUP was three strokes (Xander Schauffele/2020).

He holds the 36-hole lead/co-lead for the second time (2019 The Honda Classic/1st).

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Mitchell finished T14/2018 and T46/2019 in two previous starts in the CJ CUP. He missed the cut at Sanderson Farms Championship and Shriners Children’s Open in his first two starts of the season

Making his season debut, Spieth (T2/-13) followed up an opening 66 with a 65 where he ranks 2nd in Strokes Gained: Around the Greens (2.924) through two rounds.

The 2015 FedExCup champion finished T20 in the 2020-21 FedExCup standings with one victory (2021 Valero Texas Open) and nine top-10s. It was his best performance since finishing second in 2017 with three wins.

 

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The 12-time winner’s victory at the 2021 Valero Texas Open ended a winless run stretching 1,351 days and 82 events.

He finished T8 in the 2019 the CJ CUP and T38 at Shadow Creek last year.

Kim’s (T2/-13) had a 9-under 63 included seven birdies and one eagle from 5’ 11” on the par-5 18th.

He is the winner of the 2021 Japan PGA Championship and 2020 Korean PGA Championship.

Harry Higgs (T2/-13) shot a bogey-free 67 and matches his career low 36-hole score (131). This is his third start of the season (MC/Fortinet Championship, T27/Shriners Children’s Open).

Is seeking his first Tour win following two runner-up finishes at 2019 Butterfield Bermuda Championship and 2020 Fortinet Championship.

 

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Scott (T2/-13) played the final seven holes in 8-under (his best seven-hole stretch to finish a round during the ShotLink era) to finish birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie-par-birdie-eagle.

He made a 3’ 1” putt for eagle on the par-5 14th hole and another 4’11” putt for eagle on the par-5 18th hole. Marked the seventh time with two eagles in a round (first since the 2014 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard) and first time performing the feat on the same nine.

Had a career-best 14 one-putt holes during second-round 63. He finished T35 in his season’s debut at the Shriners Children’s Open last week.

Scott holds 14 official wins on Tour, with his last being The Genesis Invitational in 2020.

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