CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Angel Cabrera never knows when he’s going to play his best golf. This could be shaping up as one of those weeks at the Wells Fargo Championship.
On a Quail Hollow course that lets the Argentine hit driver on just about every hole, two exquisite short-game shots late in the second round carried Cabrera to a 3-under 69 on Friday and a share of the lead with Martin Flores going into the weekend.
It was the first time Cabrera had at least a share of the 36-hole lead on the PGA Tour since the 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont. The last time he was part of the lead after any round was in the 2013 Masters.
With one of the most powerful and reliable swings in golf, the mystery about the 44-year-old Argentine is that his only two on the PGA Tour are majors – Oakmont for the U.S. Open, and Augusta National when he won the Masters in a playoff in 2009.
Flores couldn’t ask for a better start, and his finish wasn’t too bad, either. Flores began his second round birdie-eagle when he holed out with a wedge from 105 yards in the 11th fairway. He added a pair of birdies late in his round for a 68.
They were at 9-under 135, one shot ahead of Justin Rose, who had a 67.
Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy went the other direction.
Mickelson, one shot out of the lead to start the second round and perfect conditions ahead of him, seemed to miss every putt that he made on Thursday. He had a 75 and fell seven shots out of the lead.
McIlroy had a 76 and made the cut on the number at 1-over 145.
NORTH TEXAS LPGA SHOOTOUT
IRVING, Texas (AP) – Meena Lee shot a season-best 64 that included a nine-hole stretch without a par and Caroline Masson had her second straight 67 to share the lead in the North Texas LPGA Shootout.
At 8-under 134, Lee and Masson were stroke ahead of Texan Stacy Lewis and Natalie Gulbis.
The 65 on Friday for Gulbis was her first sub-70 round this season, putting her in contention for her first victory in seven years. She is playing with an achy left wrist, and has an appointment with a specialist next week to finally figure out what is causing the pain.
Lewis, the No. 3 player in the world, had a bogey-free 64 to match Lee for the best round of the day.
Christina Kim was 6 under after a 69.
First-round leader Suzann Pettersen had a 71 to drop three strokes back at 5 under.
Top-ranked Inbee Park, the defending champion, was 3 under after a 68.
THE WOODLANDS, Texas (AP) – Bernhard Langer birdied the final six holes for a share of the lead with Bart Bryant in the Champions Tour’s Insperity Invitational.
Langer matched Bryant at 6-under 66 at The Woodlands Country Club. Langer won the 2007 event at Augusta Pines and successfully defended his title in 2008 at The Woodlands. The 56-year-old German player won the season-opening event in Hawaii for his 19th Champions Tour title and has 20 straight under-par rounds.
Defending champion Esteban Toledo was a stroke back. Last year, he became the first Mexican winner in Champions Tour history, beating Mike Goodes with a par on the third hole of a playoff.
Woodlands resident Jeff Maggert, Fred Funk and Joe Daley shot 68. Maggert won in Mississippi in March in his first start on the 50-and-over tour. Funk won the 2012 event and the 1992 Houston Open on the course.
Fred Couples, the 2010 winner, had a 69. He won in March in Newport Beach, Calif.
THE CHAMPIONSHIP AT LAGUNA NATIONAL
SINGAPORE (AP) – Thailand’s Panuphol Pittayarat birdied two of his last three holes to maintain a one-stroke lead after the second round of The Championship at Laguna National.
Panuphol had a 4-under 68 for a two-round total of 13-under 131. American David Lipsky (68) was tied for second with Australia’s Scott Hend (65) and Chile’s Felipe Aguilar (67).