The Tulsa, Oklahoma, native wrangled three straight birdies early in the second round of the Lincoln Land Championship at Panther Creek Country Club and stayed atop the leaderboard at 15-under-par for a two-stroke lead over Australian Brett Drewitt.
Saxon didn’t quite match his career-low 61 from Thursday but once again went bogey-free at 5-under 66 Friday.
“It’s a long tournament on a relatively easy golf course, so you’re just going to have to make birdies,” Saxon said. “I just tried to run away from everybody as far as I could.”
Saxon last pulled out a win in June 2018 on the PGA Tour Series in China.
“It’s been a little longer than I would’ve liked, but hopefully we solve that this weekend,” Saxon said.
Drewitt was among three players to score 9-under Friday but stands alone at second. Vincent Whaley is third with a 12-under total while Harry Hall and 2018 tournament champion Anders Albertson are tied for fourth at 11-under.
“This week, it’s just firing. If I’ve got a good number out here, I’m trying to make birdies.”
Fifteen of them, through two rounds @LincolnLandGolf.
— Korn Ferry Tour (@KornFerryTour) September 4, 2020
Drewitt had six birdies on his first nine holes and credited that string of fortune to his putter.
“I just got some putts to drop, which was really nice,” Drewitt said. “I haven’t had that yet this year.”
Whaley, a Georgia Tech alum, said he wasn’t as sharp Friday and watched another Yellow Jacket, Albertson, surge into contention.
“It’s one of those courses where it’s not overly demanding off the tee but if you hit it just a little out of position it’s tough to hit it close to some of these holes,” Whaley said. “The greens kind of firmed up and the whole course really firmed up, so it was playing a little tougher than yesterday, too.”
Hall, a recent graduate from University of Nevada Las Vegas, finished with three straight birdies to build momentum into the weekend.
“Finished like a Rebel today, that’s the saying of Coach (Dwaine) Knight at UNLV,” Hall said. “I was just so in the zone that it didn’t feel like my last three holes. I just kept doing what I was doing.”
Saxon had looks down the stretch to expand his lead but couldn’t convert with his putter.
“I played solid the rest of the day,” Saxon said. “I didn’t quite putt as well as I did yesterday. Overall, it was a solid round. I was proud of how I stayed patient even though the putts weren’t falling and I was able to scoop up a few on the par-5s.”
The University of Oklahoma graduate thrived against the wind Thursday afternoon. This time he played under calmer conditions.
“A lot less was going on, so kind of funny that the tougher conditions I was five shots better,” Saxon said. “But that’s how golf is sometimes.”