Scott Piercy uses flawless round to move into lead at CJ Cup

JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images

Scott Piercy uses flawless round to move into lead at CJ Cup

PGA Tour

Scott Piercy uses flawless round to move into lead at CJ Cup

Here’s a recap of the second round of the CJ Cup at the Club at Nine Bridges in Jeju Island, South Korea:

LEADING: Scott Piercy matched a three-time major champion shot for shot and it staked him out in front.

Piercy was flawless on Friday, firing a bogey-free 7-under 65 to move to 9 under overall and one in front. That 65 was matched by Brooks Koepka, but he could only reach 8 under for the tournament to find himself one back.

Early season success is not unfamiliar for Piercy. The 39-year-old opened in 62 at the 2016 Safeway Open (the season opener) on his way to a T-3 showing there. Since 2014, he has five top-10 finishes in fall PGA Tour events.

Piercy is a four-time PGA Tour winner and did capture his latest title last season as he teamed with Billy Horschel to take the 2018 Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

His last solo victory on the PGA Tour, though, came all the way back at the 2015 Barbasol Championship.

A fifth PGA Tour title this week would certainly be his most lucrative to date. He’s halfway there.

CHASING: As noted above, Koepka is the nearest challenger. The 2018 U.S. Open and PGA Championship winner, who closed his day with an eagle, can move to World No. 1 for the first time with a victory this week. He can also reach No. 1 if he finishes solo second and Justin Thomas doesn’t win. First-round leader Chez Reavie followed up an opening 68 with a solid 70 to find himself solo third at 6 under. Alex Noren fired a 65 to rocket 43 spots to T-4 at 5 under. He’s at that number alongside Ian Poulter (70-69).

SHOT OF THE DAY: Hole-in-one alert for Paul Casey!!

SHORT SHOTS: Brian Harman posted the round of the tournament thus far, as he scorched with a 64 to fire up 58 spots to T-6 at 4 under. That would be a 12-shot improvement from his opening 76. … Thomas, the defending champion, is tied for 22nd at 1 under. If he can make a charge and somehow make it back-to-back wins here, Thomas will return to World No. 1. … Casey actually played 3 over golf after that ace, as he fired a 73 on the day and is T-30 at even par. … Jason Day is also at even par. … Hideki Matsuyama struggled to a 74 and plummeted 33 spots to T-44 at 1 over. … Danny Willett was even worse off as his 77 dropped him from T-2 to T-56 at 2 over.

UP NEXT: Golf Channel will air third-round coverage from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Eastern. Follow all the action live on Golfweek.com and our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

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