C.T. Pan of Taiwan (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Chinese Taipei’s C.T. Pan powered into tied seventh place at the halfway stage at the US$7.1 million John Deere Classic on Friday as he seeks to challenge for a second career PGA TOUR victory.

The 30-year-old Pan fired a flawless 7-under 64 at TPC Deere Run to match his career low round on TOUR for a two-day total of 9-under 133 and sits six shots back of second round leader J.T. Poston, who impressed again with a 65 to lead by four strokes on 15-under from Denny McCarthy.

“Hit a lot of good iron shots out there with today’s condition, gave myself a lot of birdie opportunities within 10 feet. Pretty soft and no wind, so you can go right at a pin,” said Pan, who finished T34 in his debut here in 2018 but missed the cut last year.

His strong run so far has made up for missing the weekend play at the Travelers Championship last week following a run of seven successive made cuts on TOUR. Pan’s maiden victory was at the 2019 RBC Heritage and he is no doubt keen to challenge for another win.

Pan took advantage of his early tee time to record seven birdies, the most birdies in a round this season, en route to tying his career low 64 which he shot in the second round at the 2020 Wyndham Championship. With some crisp iron play, he hit 16 greens in regulation and holed a 50-foot putt on the fourth hole for his longest birdie of the day.

“I played the best I could. Yesterday my third hole, I shanked my chip. It was tough. Made a double bogey there. I was 2-over through 3 and I wouldn’t think I could shoot 9-under or 11-under on the last 33 holes, so I’m pretty happy with where I am at,” said the Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist, whose closing three birdies were from inside of eight feet.

With a two-day total of 127 for his career-best opening 36-hole score, a buoyed Poston will be aiming to translate his four-shot lead into a second career victory since winning the Wyndham Championship in 2019. He finished tied second last week, finishing two shots behind winner Xander Schauffele.

“Last week the one thing I think I learned after playing well Thursday was to try and keep the pedal down,” said Poston. “I think this golf course may yield a few more birdies than last week, but at the same time, you got to go out there and hit some golf shots to stay aggressive. I was able to do that, which is nice.”

Anirban Lahiri of India and Seung-yul Noh of Korea returned with much-improved performances to enter the weekend in T24 position on 136 after carding 67 and 66 respectively, while Satoshi Kodaira of Japan lies in T54 on 139.

Second-Round Notes – Friday, July 1, 2022

WeatherMostly cloudy. High of 85. Wind NW 5-10 mph. Due to inclement weather, play was suspended from 10:29 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. CT (1 hour, 16 minutes).

36-hole cut: 69 professionals at 3-under 139 from a field of 155 professionals and one amateur

Second-Round Leaderboard

J.T. Poston                      62-65—127 (-15)

Denny McCarthy            66-65—131 (-11)

Matthias Schwab           67-65—132 (-10)

Christopher Gotterup    65-67—132 (-10)

Emiliano Grillo               68-64—132 (-10)

Chris Naegel                   66-66—132 (-10)

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