Reavie leads by two after flirting with 59

American Chez Reavie, red-hot with his putter, flirted with a magical 59 before bogeying his final hole to...

Golf

American Chez Reavie, red-hot with his putter, flirted with a magical 59 before bogeying his final hole to claim a two-shot lead in the second round of the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Illinois on Friday.

Displaying scintillating form on the greens on another surprisingly calm day at the TPC Deere Run, Reavie fired a sparkling nine-under-par 62 to post a 14-under total of 128.

World number five Steve Stricker, in pursuit of a third consecutive victory at Deere Run, also made the most of the ideal scoring conditions, a sizzling 64 lifting him into second place with compatriot Steve Marino (66).

Venezuela's Jhonattan Vegas (64) was a further two strokes back at 10 under, level with Americans Mark Wilson (67) and Kyle Stanley (67), and Zimbabwe's Brendon de Jonge (66).

Reavie, who began this season on a medical exemption after having surgery on his right knee last year to repair a torn ACL and meniscus, was especially delighted with his putting form.

"The putter's been great, and that's been the key," the 29-year-old told reporters after totalling only 21 putts.

"I saved some poor shots, made good par shots, hit some good shots and made birdies. It's always fun when you do that."

THINKING 59

Reavie, whose only PGA Tour victory came at the 2008 Canadian Open, conceded he began thinking about a 59 after recording his ninth birdie of the day at the par-three seventh, his 16th hole.

"That's when I thought, 'I make two more birdies, I shoot 59'. And then I hit it up there to about 10 feet on the eighth hole, hit a great putt and it lipped out," he said.

"It was a hard lip-out and then I kind of took a deep breath and I was like, 'Okay, now it's not really in the cards'. But yeah, I thought about it (59) and I was laughing about it and joking about it.

"I hit three great shots and it just didn't go in. But I couldn't be upset. I made enough putts... so I can't really complain about a putt not going in."

Reavie, who had raced to the turn in a sizzling five-under 31, then bogeyed his final hole of the day after his approach at the par-four ninth ended up in a greenside bunker.

"I pitched it out to about six feet and hit a good putt," he said of his finish. "I just didn't play enough break."

The cut fell at four-under 138 with British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa and double major winner John Daly among those failing to advance.

Big-hitting Daly had carded a 72 in Thursday's opening round but on Friday he battled to an ugly 81 which included a stunning 13 at the par-four fourth where his tee shot ended up well right in thick rough.

"I really was hoping they wouldn't find it so I'd have to go back to the tee," the American said. "So I hit it a couple of times and then took an unplayable, couldn't get it out, hit it again, took an unplayable, couldn't get it out.

"Then I got it far enough left that I could drop and then get in the bunker and two-putted for a 13. I just hit a horrible swing on four, just a heel shank. I deserved it."