Jason Kokrak shot a bogey-free eight-under-par 62 on Friday for a record five-stroke lead after two rounds at the AT&T Byron Nelson in Irving, Texas, where local favorite Jordan Spieth missed the cut for the first time at the tournament where he made his debut as a 16-year-old high school junior.
Kokrak, the 128th-ranked player in the world, matched the Nelson’s 36-hole record at 12 under after his career-best scoring round, and no one has ever had a bigger lead there after two rounds.
Billy Horschel was second at seven under after three consecutive birdies to finish a 65. Dustin Johnson, the world’s No. 1 player, had his second consecutive 67 and was among six players tied for third.
Spieth closed with a 75, including a nine on the par-five 16th after hitting two tee balls out of bounds. With a 3-over total and needing at least one birdie, Spieth finished with consecutive pars. His 17-foot birdie try at No. 17 curled by the cup, and he missed a 14-footer on 18.
The 23-year-old Spieth also missed the cut last week in The Players Championship. He last missed consecutive cuts in 2015.
Kokrak finished with a nice par save after driving way right. The ball landed in the rough closer to the first fairway with a temporary concession stand between him and the hole. He managed to hit the ball back in the fairway short of the green, then chipped to 6 feet.
“It’s 36 holes. You’ve got the No. 1 player in the world chasing you, you’ve got x-number of other players that are outstanding players,” Kokrak said, when asked about having wiggle room. “Same game plan, just give myself birdie opportunities.”
Byeong Hun An had a bogey-free 66 to get into the tie for third with Johnson, Bud Cauley (67), Cameron Tringale (68), Jhonattan Vegas (68) and first-round co-leader James Hahn (70). They were one stroke better than a group that included Grayson Murray, who had never seen the TPC Four Seasons course before this week but hit 16 of 18 greens in a 65 on Friday.
Sergio Garcia, the Masters champion who is defending his second Nelson title, birdied six of his last 15 holes for a 65 to get to two under. He opened with a 73.
Spieth, the 2015 Masters and U.S. Open champion, first played a PGA Tour event at age 16 on a sponsor’s exemption in the 2010 tournament, and tied for 16th — still his best Nelson finish. He missed his high school graduation ceremony in 2011 to play after making the cut again.
After an opening birdie Friday, Spieth missed a 3 1/2-foot par putt at the par-three second hole. He had five bogeys and four birdies, plus saved par from a drop at the edge of a curb after his tee shot at the 316-yard 11th hole rolled to a stop on a neighborhood street, before the horrendous 16th hole.