Golf: Kang seizes early 2nd round at US PGA Houston Open

Kang Sung of South Korea celebrates after making a birdie putt on the second green during the second round.
Kang Sung of South Korea celebrates after making a birdie putt on the second green during the second round.PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - South Korea's Kang Sung scorched the Tournament Course at the Golf Club of Houston on Friday (March 31), firing a nine-under par 63 to seize the clubhouse lead in the second round of the Houston Open.

The 29-year-old, who entered the week ranked 202nd in the world, opened the second round one shot off the lead held by American Rickie Fowler.

He produced seven birdies and an eagle at the par-five eighth hole, where he rolled in a 30-footer.

Kang was in the clubhouse on 16-under 128 with the afternoon wave, including Fowler, on the course.

His nearest rivals in the clubhouse were Americans Hudson Swafford and Russell Henley, who both posted 67s for 134.

Kang is vying for a win that would earn him an invitation to the Masters, the first major of the year that tees off next Thursday at Augusta National.

He finished equal 18th at last year's US Open in his only major start, but hasn't posted a victory since the 2013 Korean Open.

Those players who were headed for an early exit from the final Masters tuneup, where the cut was projected to fall at one-under par, included fifth-ranked British Open champion Henrik Stenson, sixth-ranked Jordan Spieth, eighth-ranked Adam Scott and South African Ernie Els.