Brendon Todd leads crowded field at HP Byron Nelson Championship

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by GEORGE RIBA

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WFAA

Posted on May 16, 2014 at 7:02 PM

IRVING -- The final two rounds of the HP Byron Nelson Championship will provide lots of competition to determine this year's champion.

Fourteen golfers are within three shots of the lead heading into the weekend.

Brendon Todd shot a 64 to take a two-shot lead thanks to a 33 on the front nine and a 31 on the back. 

"I was a little slow coming out of the gate," Todd said. "My short game has been really solid this week. I've holed a lot of putts inside of 10 feet. I was able to find something in my swing  somewhere on the back nine, I was able to hit some close shots.” 

Todd says he likes the dry windy conditions this week.

"I do. I like to run my driver out there in the fairway. I think I hit my irons best when I'm hitting three quarter punch shots." 

Dallas golfer Jordan Spieth is five shots off the lead and may have saved the best for last. His shot from the rough at 18th set up his final birdie of the day. He shot a 67 and leaves him in a tie for 19th. Its a position he's been in before. 

"If I’m not mistaken, I’ve been three under at cut line for four straight years now," Spieth said. "That's kind of funny. I guess I haven't improved since I was sixteen. I think this is good. This golf course has a lot of people come from behind to win just because it gets windy. These last five holes are brutal." 

Martin Kaymer, who won the Players Championship last week, continues to play well. Kaymer shot his second straight 67 to move to six under par two shots off the lead. He's one of eight golfers tied for second at six under par. 

"I think if you had a good week (last week), obviously you can take a lot into the next week," Kaymer said. "You play a little bit more free, a little bit more relaxed and the tough part is to be relaxed but still very focused." 

Paul Casey had the best round among the leaders with a seven under par 67. He's also in that bunch tied at second. He said he wasn't aware of the great round he was having. He was asked when it finally hit him.

"When my caddy told me, walking off 18, he was struggling to add it up!" Casey said. "Par 35 threw him. He said I think that's 28, he's like yeah! Genuinely, I had no concept of what I was doing out there."

Actually, Casey shot a 27 on the back nine after shooting a 36 on the front.

Graham DeLaet followed his two under par 68 on Friday with a four under par 66. He had a top ten finish here last year and has improved his scores every year he has come to the HP Byron Nelson Championship.

"I actually do like the golf course,” DeLaet said. ”I feel like it fits my game pretty well. I like to think that I play pretty well in the wind which obviously, it usually blows here pretty hard."

Mike Weir, who won the 2003 Masters, also turned in a four under par 66 after a 68 on Friday.

"It’s nice to get myself into position," Weir said. "That's the work I’ve been doing over the years to get myself back into this position. Now I’ve got to see if I can handle it and get momentum going and play well on the weekend."

Weir's last win came in October of 2007 at the Fry's Electronics Open in Scottsdale, Arizona.

"I'm starting to see some signs, the enthusiasm gets easier and you grind it out a little bit more," Weir said.

Morgan Hoffmann shot a bogey free round 66, something he says doesn't happy every day. " "I don't remember the last time," Hoffmann said. "It felt really good today."

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