Defending champions Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele made the biggest move of the day, rocketing up the leaderboard with a 9-under 63 — the best score of the round by three strokes. They were at 14-under 130 through 36 holes, two shots behind Clark and Hossler.
Hossler made a birdie putt of nearly 60 feet on the par-4 fourth hole to highlight his team’s bogey-free round at the TPC Louisiana.
“It was fairly stress-free round,” Hossler said. “With the exception of the long putt on 4, I think we didn’t do anything crazy, but we also didn’t really make any mistakes. It was a really clean round.”
Three of the five birdies by Clark and Hossler came on par-5s after they either hit or narrowly missed the green in two. Their final birdie came shortly after a 2-hour, 28-minute delay caused by rain and lightning.
While the 29-year-old Clark and 28-year-old Hossler do not have a PGA Tour victory between them, both have several top-20 finishes this season. Clark finished fifth at the Valspar Championship. Hossler tied for 11th at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
“We’re in a great spot,” Hossler said. “I like our mentality.”
Cantlay and Schauffele looked more dialed in than during their erratic 5-under first round Thursday that was marred by three bogeys in better-ball play.
They opened the more challenging alternate-shot second round on the 10th hole and birdied four of their first seven. They eagled the par-5 18th, set up by Schauffele’s towering, 264-yard hybrid that settled less than 15 feet from the hole. Cantlay drained the putt, giving the pair a 6-under 30 at the turn — a tournament record for nine holes in alternate shot.
“We needed to be aggressive here in alternate shot, which is a little dangerous,” Schauffele said. “It was just necessary.”
They added birdies at the first, second and fifth holes.
They also saved par after Cantlay’s drive had sailed right of the cart path on the par-4 sixth — a dogleg left around water that ranks as the No. 1 handicap hole on the course. Schauffele hit a low shot between a cluster of small cypress trees that cleared the water and settled just behind the left side of the green. From there, Cantlay chipped within 2 feet.
Ryder and Redman birdied six holes for a 6-under 66 that tied for the second-best score of the round.
Im and Mitchell recovered from a double bogey on No. 6, where Mitchell hit his tee shot in the water, to birdie six of their last 12 holes for a 67.
The cut was at 10 under, meaning all 35 remaining teams slated to play in Saturday’s better-ball third round were within six shots of each other. The final round is alternate shot.
The highest-profile twosome to miss the cut was two-time major winner Collin Morikawa and six-time PGA Tour winner Max Homa. They shot a 2-under 70 to finish at 8 under.