Defending Zurich Classic champions Schauffele and Cantlay fire course record Friday

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AVONDALE, La – Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay’s second round 9-under par 63 set a tournament record in the alternate shot format Friday at TPC Louisiana.

The defending champions’ first round had posted a lackluster best ball score of 67 that included three bogies when the average score Thursday was 65.5. They changed their plan of attack in Round 2.

“We needed to be aggressive here in the alternate shot, which is a little dangerous,” Schauffele said. “It was just necessary “We both want to repeat and win this tournament. If we didn’t shoot anything lower that 65 (today), we would have put ourselves in a pretty tough spot.”

A severe thunderstorm came through the area around 11:00 a.m., causing play to be suspended until just after 1:30 p.m. When play resumed, the players were welcomed byclear skies and a softer course. The players could go right at the flagstick, and the scores went low with two-day cut at 10-under par.

Schauffele and Cantlay, both top five players in the world rankings, have a two-day total of 14-under par. This strong balanced team is just two strokes behind tournament leaders William Clark and Beau Hossler (61-67), both seeking their first win on the PGA Tour.

Schauffele, the 29-year old Olympic Gold Medalist for the United States, has won on the PGA Tour seven times and Cantlay, 32, has eight Tour wins and a FedEx Cup title. Both have an impressive record in the majors. They also seem to make magic together in suburban New Orleans.

There is a log jam of teams behind Clark and Hossler at 15 under par including Doc Redmon and Sam Ryder, both seeking their first PGA Tour win, as well as Keith Mitchell and Sungjae Im. Two shots back at 14-under par tied with Schauffele- Cantlay are the teams of Martin Trainer and Chad Ramey, Sean O’Hair and Brandon Matthews, Matthew NeSmith and Taylor Moore, and Nick Hardy and Davis Riley.

The weekend forecast looks excellent for not just the golfers but also the fans who will attend the Zurich Classic this weekend. It should be a family festival with people of all ages enjoying the fun.

If Cantlay has his say about Saturday, other teams better bring their ‘A’ games.

“We’d like to get that 59 again in best ball,” Cantlay stated. “We’re going to try.”

Low scores and high hopes await with two rounds remaining.

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