RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico — Andres Romero shot his second straight 7-under 65 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead in the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open
Romero, the Argentine player who won the PGA Tour’s 2008 New Orleans event and the European Tour’s 2007 Deutsche Bank tournament, had a double bogey on the par-3 eighth hole, then birdied six of the last 10 holes on the Trump International course. Returning to a center-shafted putter, he has made 16 birdies and an eagle in the first 36 holes.
“I’m just playing well. I started out very, very well,” Romero said. “But really what’s helped me is going back to my old putter. It’s really been great for me. I had used that putter for a long time and then after a while I changed it. And then besides playing the greens well, I’m also striking the ball well. So finally all three things have come together, putting well, hitting my irons well, driving well.”
North Augusta and USC Aiken product Scott Brown was second after a 63. He holed out from 170 yards for eagle on the par-4 seventh and had eight birdies and a bogey.
“I got off to just a very normal start, birdied both par 5s on the front, was hitting it good and then I holed a shot out on seven from the fairway with a 7-iron,” Brown said. “(One the par-3 eighth), I made like a 50-footer for birdie and then hit it to an inch on nine.”
Steve LeBrun and 2010 U.S. Amateur champion Peter Uihlein shot 65 to reach 12 under.
“In a good position is where you want to be,” LeBrun said. “You want to have a chance. Still two rounds left, but it’s nice to be in position to have a chance.”
Brown played the Web.com Tour the last two weeks, finishing third in Panama and tying for seventh in Colombia. He tied for 30th at Pebble Beach in his only other PGA Tour start.
“I’ve played really good all year,” Brown said. “I haven’t been making a lot of putts, but I’ve been hitting it really good and a lot of the putts haven’t been going in, I think good putts. So I knew it was coming. This week, I just putted really well.”