For the second day in a row at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational, it’s crowded at the top. The hot Texas weather at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth produced some corresponding play from Webb Simpson, Kevin Kisner, Scott Piercy and Danny Lee, who are all tied for the lead at six-under-par 134.
Simpson, 31, is a four-time winner on the PGA Tour, but has yet to add a fifth since 2013. A second-place finish at this year’s Waste Management and two top-25s in his last four events suggest the Wake Forest alum is beginning to find the form that he demonstrated with his victory in the 2012 U.S. Open. His four-under 66 on Friday was highlighted by three consecutive birdies on his final three holes.
The most surprising name of the foursome is Las Vegas-native Piercy, who came into the week missing three of his last four cuts and posted two rounds in the 80s at the Players. But the 38-year-old rebounded at the AT&T Byron Nelson, finishing T-20. Piercy, who carded a four-under 66, can match Simpson’s career win total with a victory in Fort Worth this week.
Lee and Kisner are each searching for the second win of their careers. Kisner, 33, has finished second twice this season and has made all but two cuts in 15 events. Lee's game is trending upward with his having made seven of his last nine cuts and earning his best finish of the season last week with a T-5. He posted the low round of the day on Friday, a six-under 64, while Kisner fired his second consecutive three-under 67.
Notable names lurk at five under, including the Spanish duo of Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm. Garcia, the Masters champion, is making his first appearance at Colonial since 2012, when he finished T-13. With six birdies, he posted a four-under 66. Rahm, making his first appearance in the event, shot a one-under 69 on Friday. Another European, Paul Casey of England, is also at five under after a stellar four-under 66 that featured just one bogey.
At four under is 2010 U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell, who is making his first appearance at Colonial. Jordan Spieth is just four shots back thanks to what he called the best putting performance he's had in awhile. Despite three bogeys on his first five holes, the defending champion bounced back to shoot a two-under 68.