Young guns take the lead in Florida

Keegan Bradley and Brendan Steele combined for a 62 to take the lead at the Franklin Templeton Shootout on Saturday.

US PGA Champion Keegan Bradley and Brendan Steele combined for a second-round 62 to take the lead at the Franklin Templeton Shootout on Saturday.

Co-leaders overnight, the duo finished at 19 under 125 to lie one shot clear at Tiburon Golf Club’s Gold Course in Naples.

The pair they shared the lead with after round one, veterans Mark Calcavecchia and Nick Price, started badly but recovered in fine style to post a 63 and take sole possession of second place.

Bradley and Steele, both rookies on the PGA Tour in 2011, have enjoyed successful debut seasons, combining for three wins, one of which was Bradley’s major triumph at Atlanta Athletic Club back in August.

Calcavecchia and Price have also enjoyed success on the Champions Tour this year, picking up a victory apiece, and were having fun battling it out with the rookies on Saturday.

“It’s enjoyable playing with those two kids,” said Calcavecchia in a post-round interview. “I’ve always enjoyed coming to play. This is fun. We’re in the last group tomorrow.”

Lying in third, two shots back, are Rory Sabbatini and Jhonattan Vegas – their 12-under 60 was the best round of the day,

Bradley and Steele started making inroads with three successive birdies from the eighth. Two more birdies followed at 13 and 14 before a nice par save by Steele on 16 helped keep the round going. Another birdie came at the 16th, before a two-putt at the par-five 17 brought the duo their final birdie.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Bradley.

The tournament features a mixed format – the pairs played better ball on Saturday, and switch to a scramble format for Sunday’s final round.

In the scramble, a player hits a drive on every hole and the best drive is selected. Each player then plays a second shot from the spot where the selected drive lays, and the best second shot is selected. It’s a format that leads to very low scores.

“We’ll have Steeley (Steele) hit his drive down the middle and I’ll swing as hard as I can,” said Bradley.

Rickie Fowler & Camilo Villegas are in fourth place, three shots back after a 62, while Jerry Kelly and Steve Stricker (64) are tied for fifth with Kenny Perry and Scott Stallings (62) a further shot back.

Charles Howell III and Justin Leonard (62), Anthony Kim and Webb Simpson (63) and Sean O’Hair and Jason Dufner (64) are tied for seventh on 14 under par.

Tournament host Greg Norman and partner Scott McCarron shot a 10-under 62 to share 10th place with Chad Campbell and Chris DiMarco on 13 under.