PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. — Sam Burns shot 64-66 at Riviera Country Club to tie the 36-hole mark at the Genesis Invitational, where he walked off the course midday Friday leading by five shots.
His 130 total brings him into the conversation of breaking one of the longest-held records on the PGA Tour.
In the 1985 playing of this event, Lanny Wadkins shot a 20-under 264. It remains the longest-held 72-hole scoring record among current Tour events.
On Thursday Burns took his first-ever 18-hole lead. He jump-started his week with an eagle on No. 1 and has piled up 12 birdies since then. He didn’t have any bogeys on Friday after carding two of them on Thursday.
“I’d like to think that I have all the tools to win out here,” he said Friday. “Obviously there’s a lot of good players, really, really good players. I try not to get caught up in that and just trying to get better each week and just trying to build as the season goes on.”
Burns has the confidence of none other than Sir Nick Faldo, who made Burns his pre-tournament pick to win this week.
Chasing is Tyler McCumber, who backed up his first-round 67 with a Friday 68. He’s doing this after emergency surgery to have a fingernail removed. After his second round, he said the pain is easing up a little.
“You just kind of adapt a bit. It’s pretty wild how quickly the body does adapt to things. I thought it was a little better today just to kind of focus on the golf and not really worry about the finger,” he said. “I made the call to leave my glove on so you don’t have that hassle of pulling it on and off over the stub thing. That was good.”
McCumber is at 7 under alongside Jason Kokrak, who also shot 68 on Friday.
Max Homa and Jordan Spieth are currently tied for fourth. Homa shot 70 on Friday, while Spieth posted a second straight 68. Spieth tied for fourth at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and tied for third at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
“Obviously Sam had some success on the greens and everywhere else, but it’s not like you can go chase people on this golf course,” he said.
Brooks Koepka is hanging around after his Friday 70. He’s 4 under overall, eight shots back.
Three players who won’t be teeing it up this weekend: Bryson DeChambeau, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas, who is second-from-last after posting scores of 77-73.