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Marty Dou tees off on 10 during the second round of the Butterfield Bermuda Championship at Port Royal Golf Course. Photo: AFP

PGA Tour: birdie blitz helps China’s Dou charge into contention at Bermuda Championship, as Crane takes two-shot lead

  • Dou shoots second consecutive round of 6-under to sit two shots back from leader Ben Crane
  • Taiwan’s Kevin Yu also in the mix after a 5-under 66 at Port Royal Golf Course
PGA Tour

China’s Marty Dou and Taiwan’s Kevin Yu charged into contention at the halfway stage of the Butterfield Bermuda Championship as they maintained their chase for a maiden PGA Tour victory.

Making their fourth starts of the 2022-23 season, Dou and Yu shot six-under and five-under respectively at Port Royal Golf Course on Friday to sit two shots adrift of 36-hole leader Ben Crane, who tied his career low round with a stunning nine-under par 62 and sits on 14-under for the tournament.

Indian veteran star Arjun Atwal, who opened with a 63 to lie one off the pace on Thursday, shot a 71 to slip into a tie for 34th as Port Royal was tamed by most of the field.

Dou’s second successive round of 65 lifted him into a tie for seventh. The 25-year-old picked up five shots in his opening eight holes, while his only dropped shot came at the par-3 8th.

“It started raining on my back nine, so it was a little harder to play,” he said. “I played exceptionally well on the front, just like the front nine yesterday, shot 5-under. Made a few mistakes on the back but overall, it was pretty good.”

Kevin Yu lines up a putt on the ninth green during the second round of the Butterfield Bermuda Championship. Photo: AFP

Rookie Yu, who was playing in the same group as Dou, was equally impressive with six birdies, including two over his last three holes.

“I had a lot of birdie chances or eagle chances, so overall my iron play was good,” said the 24-year-old.

“I think the best holes were the seventh and eighth holes. The second shot into the seventh and the tee shot on eight were both pretty close to the flagstick. I hope I can keep it up for the next two days.”

Crane, a five-time PGA Tour winner, seized the second-round lead with nine birdies, an eagle and two bogeys as he finished one ahead of Adam Schenk, Aaron Baddeley, Robby Shelton and Ben Griffin.

He was delighted to put himself in a position to end a victory drought dating back to June 2014 when he won the FedEx St. Jude Classic.

“I couldn’t be more encouraged,” he said. “Obviously played the best golf I’ve played in a long time and to be in this tournament is super encouraging, get to play four rounds.”