Jonas Blixt shot his second straight 7-under 64 on Friday for a share of the second-round lead with Brendon de Jonge in the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
De Jonge followed his opening 62 with a 66 to match Blixt at 14-under 128 after two rounds in perfect conditions in the Fall Series opener.
“I think it’s a lot of things that makes me play well this week,” said Blixt, from Sweden. “I got my family in town, my brother and my sister, a couple friends from overseas, which makes it really relaxed. We’re renting a house together and just having a good time. I don’t think about golf at all coming off the golf course. Just hang out with them. It’s easy to think about something else when you’re in Las Vegas, right?”
He is winless on the PGA Tour.
“I’ve been working a lot on my ball-striking the last few weeks when I’ve been off,” Blixt said. “It’s not really there yet, but I got a hot putter and it’s been helping me out a lot the last two days.”
Blixt birdied Nos. 15 and 16, made a double bogey on the par-3 17th, and finished with a birdie on 18. He also had an eagle on the par-4 seventh hole.
“First of all, I don’t know why they always put water on 17, on the par 3s,” Blixt said. “Every single week we play on par 3s ... It’s a great hole, but if I miss it’s left, so that’s is why I don’t really appreciate it. But I just got a little fast and that’s why I missed. Tried to hit a little soft 6-iron in there.”
De Jonge, from Zimbabwe, also is seeking his first PGA Tour victory.
“We got a long way to go, obviously,” de Jonge said. “I’ve played nicely for the first rounds, but to start thinking about winning right now would be jumping ahead a little bit.
“I’ve driven the ball well for the first two rounds. With as receptive as the greens are here, you’re going to have a lot of chances when (you drive well). That’s been the key. I’ve been able to set myself up to score well from the fairways.”
Ryan Moore, the Las Vegas resident and former UNLV player who matched the TPC Summerlin record Thursday with a 61, was a stroke back after a 68.
“It was a good, solid round,” Moore said. “I definitely would have liked to have seen a few more of those putts drop. But I hit good putts all day. They were just burning the edges, lipping out. All in all, I like my position going into the weekend.