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Sam Burns looks suddenly comfortable with the lead at AT&T Byron Nelson


McKINNEY, Texas — It took nearly four years for Sam Burns to break through and win on the PGA Tour. He’s hoping the sequel will come in much shorter order.

Burns was simply scintillating on a warm, sunny day, bludgeoning TPC Craig Ranch on Friday during the second round of the AT&T Byron Nelson. By day’s end, the 24-year-old rode a 62 to take the lead into the third round.

Sure, Burns had squandered two previous 54-hole leads this season, but he proved he can close — making three birdies on the final nine holes to erase a one-stroke deficit at the turn and win the Valspar Championship by three strokes over Keegan Bradley last month.

On Friday, in front of a rowdy and sizable crowd, Burns posted a career-best 10 under. He’ll enter the weekend attempting to become the first player to win his first two events in consecutive starts since Camilo Villegas did it in 2008.

“Everything out there felt great. I just feel like we got into a good rhythm throughout the round. I made a run right there on the back nine, and so it was nice to be able to finish it off with two birdies at the end,” Burns said. “A good way to end the day. Just trying to get a good game plan out here for tomorrow and let’s see what happens.”

Giving chase are K.H, Lee, Alex Noren, Doc Redman and J.J. Spaun. Six golfers, including Jordan Spieth and Matt Kuchar, are six bac at 11 under.

AT&T Byron NelsonPhotos | Leaderboard

The understated Burns insisted he’s simply reaping the rewards from some quality work investment.

“The biggest thing for me is just seeing the hard work that we put in it, to start seeing results from that. A lot of times you don’t know how long the results are going to take. Golf is a fickle game,” he said. “It’s cool to see some feedback from the progress we’ve made back home and seeing it in tournament play as well.”

But don’t expect to see much different from the former LSU star on Saturday, even with some potential weather blips on the radar. It’s likely he’ll follow a similar game plan, one that netted four birdies on the front during the second round and six more on the back.

“I think we just continue to do what we been doing. Don’t do anything more than I have to. Don’t try to play outside what I’m capable of,” he said. “Just continue to put ourselves in the right spots and see what happens.”

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