MacKenzie, Stricker hit the front at halfway stage


Will MacKenzie and Steve Stricker share a one-stroke lead heading into the penultimate round of the Valspar Championship.

MacKenzie carded a four-under-par 67, while fellow American Stricker holed a second-round 66 to charge up the leaderboard on Friday.

One of the PGA Tour's worst putters based on statistics, MacKenzie's short game looks to be in good shape.

MacKenzie, who is ranked 205th for strokes gained-putting this season, holed five birdies and dropped just one shot on day two at Innisbrook Resort, having made the switch to a claw grip putter.

Countryman Stricker was almost faultless, posting four birdies and just a solitary bogey, with the highlight being his eagle from the 10th fairway.

The pair are clear of Daniel Berger, (68), Graham DeLaet (66) and Bill Haas (67) at five under.

A shot further back are Scott Brown (69), Retief Goosen (69), Ryan Moore (69), Justin Thomas (67) and Jerry Kelly (69).

Charles Howell III, who shared the overnight lead, is also tied at three under after dropping down the leaderboard having shot a 72.

Defending champion Jordan Spieth, meanwhile, avoided the cut on Friday, albeit barely.

After going five over on the opening day, the world number one regrouped via a 68.

Spieth had four birdies and two bogeys on the front nine, while he was flawless after the turn to make it to the weekend, still seven strokes off the lead.