Paul Casey drove into Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, Fla., and saw his picture on posters and programs, just what he needed to forget the cut he missed last week.
He played Friday as though he wants those photos to stay there.
Casey holed a 30-foot eagle putt on the 599-yard fifth hole and made short birdie putts on the other three par 5s on his way to a 5-under-par 66, giving him a share of the lead with Austin Cook in the Valspar Championship.
No one has ever won back-to-back at the Valspar Championship since it became a PGA Tour event in 2000.
‘‘I've never defended a professional event. I would love to do that,’’ Casey said. ‘‘Mentally last year I was hoping I would win, wanting to win. This year, knowing that I have won around here, I have a slightly different approach to it, and I played today quite aggressively and tried to take advantage of the golf course that I knew was going to get very, very tough this afternoon.’’
Casey and Cook, who shot a 67, were at 6-under 136.
Luke Donald holed a bunker shot for birdie on the par-5 fifth to briefly take the lead, only to miss a 4-foot par putt on the next hole and drop another shot on the par-3 eighth. He shot 70 and was one behind, along with Scott Stallings (68) and Sungjae Im (67).
Dustin Johnson overcame a rough patch early in his round with five birdies on the front nine to salvage a 69. Johnson, the No. 1 player in the world, was two shots behind on a Copperhead course he hasn’t seen in nine years.
Also at 4-under 138 was Curtis Luck, the former US Amateur champion and last man in the field when Kevin Na withdrew 30 minutes before his tee time. Luck had never seen Innisbrook until his opening tee shot.
‘‘It does show you what a good job they do with the yardage books,’’ Luck said.
LPGA — Sung Hyun Park shot her second straight 6-under 66 at the Founders Cup in Phoenix for a share of the lead with Yu Liu halfway through the second round in the event that honors the 13 women who founded the LPGA Tour.
Coming off a victory three weeks ago in Singapore, Park birdied five of the first six holes on her final nine in perfect conditions at Desert Ridge. She lost the outright lead with a closing bogey on the par-4 ninth.
The 25-year-old has six tour victories, winning majors in far more difficult conditions at the 2017 US Women’s Open and 2018 Women’s PGA Championship.
Liu had 10 birdies in a 64 to match Park at 12-under 132.
Lydia Ko had her second straight 67, playing alongside Park.
She was two strokes back with first-round leader Celine Boutier (70), Amy Yang (66), Mi Jung Hur (66), and Nanna Koerstz Madsen (69).
European — Ernie Els was two shots behind Maybank Championship leader Thomas Pieters on a crowded leaderboard after the second round in Kuala Lampur. Els carded a 2-under 70 to reach 6 under.
There were 15 golfers within three shots of Pieters, who was at 8 under overall after a 69 he wasn’t pleased with. He bogeyed the par-4 second hole, and made four birdies.
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Robert Garrigus became the first PGA Tour player suspended for a drug of abuse, saying on Twitter that he had a relapse with marijuana. The tour announced that the 41-year-old Garrigus, whose only PGA Tour victory was at Disney at the end of the 2010 season, has been suspended for three months.