Steele out in front at Fry’s.com Open

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Brendan Steele remained at the top of the Fry's.com Open leaderboard despite struggling to replicate the form which saw him fire an opening 63.

A first round of 63 saw Steele go one clear of the field on Thursday, but a second-round 70 did not prove too costly, with the American's lead extended to two shots.

Will Wilcox (67), Jhonattan Vegas (71), Graham DeLaet (68), and Harold Varner III (70) are two shots off the pace. Justin Rose heads a group of four players on eight-under-par, while world number three Rory McIlroy dropped to six strokes back.

Last season Steele notched up four top-10 finishes, but is without a win since claiming his maiden PGA Tour victory in 2011. The 32-year-old went bogey-free on Thursday, and began with a birdie at the first before notching up his first bogey at the third. 

Steele would add further birdies at the fifth, 10th, 12th, and 14th, but bogeys at the 13th and 15th meant that he had to settle for a round of 70.

Playing on a sponsor's exemption after losing his PGA Tour card, Jhonattan Vegas needs a good showing in Napa this week and an opening 64 was certainly an impressive start.

However, like Steele, Vegas was not quite as hot on Friday, with the Colombian notching up two birdies and a bogey in a round of 71 that sees him level with DeLaet and Varner III.

Making his PGA Tour debut, Varner III had the chance to head into the weekend's running in the final group, but a missed 10-foot putt at the last meant he would have to settle for the penultimate group.

World number six Justin Rose sits three back after backing up his opening 67 with a 69. Rose is joined on eight under by Russell Henley, Justin Thomas and Martin Laird.

McIlroy was once again left to rue a poor day with the putter, with the former world number one missing a handful of short putts in his round of 71 which sees him sit six shots back.

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