Here is a recap of the second round of the WGC-HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China:
LEADING: Dustin Johnson has only been able to find the form that won him three straight tournaments last spring in spurts, but it may be back this week.
The long-hitter birdied his final four holes to close in 29 Friday at Sheshan International to reach 13 under and take a one-shot lead over Brooks Koepka.
Johnson had been alternating between putters heading to Shanghai and, according to the Associated Press, he had used a third, a mallet head, during the first round. But he went to yet another one Friday.
Johnson moved to a TaylorMade Spider with a metal insert Friday late before his round (he only got it about 20 minutes before he teed off), hit a few practice putts and then proceeded to drain almost everything with it in Round 2.
It was only two months ago Johnson last won (he captured the Northern Trust), but he’s seven months removed from his run of three straight wins. But he could start a new run in the 2017-18 season.
CHASING: Koepka began the day with the lead and lost it despite firing a 4-under 68 to reach 12 under. Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat are tied for third at 9 under. Patrick Reed sits solo fifth at 8 under.
SHOT OF THE DAY: Aphibarnrat’s round included a near hole-out for eagle!
QUOTABLE: “I got (that putter) right before I walked to the tee. I hit a few putts on the practice green with it and I was like, ‘Oh, this will work pretty well.’ Went out and holed a lot of putts today, so I kind of like it.” – Dustin Johnson, making a last-minute putter switch sound casual somehow
SHORT SHOTS: The Matts (Kuchar and Fitzpatrick) are tied for sixth at 7 under. … Peter Uihlein fires a 67 to jump 36 spots to a tie for 12th at 5 under. … Jason Day sits T-38 at 1 under after a second-round 74. … Defending champion Hideki Matsuyama is tied for 66th at 4 over.