Todd leads; Casey lights up back nine

Paul Casey surged up the Byron Nelson Championship leaderboard with a record-equalling nine-under-par 27 on the back nine to lie just two shots behind leader Brendon Todd.

After an opening round of 71, the Englishman endured a frustrating front nine as he dropped shots on the third and fifth holes before an eagle on the seventh gave him a boost. However, he dropped another shot at the 10th to be two over for the day and struggling to make the cut.

But the fireworks started on the back nine as he carded birdies in five of the first six holes and then picked up his second eagle of the day at the par-five 16th before finishing with a birdie at the 18th.

“I had no concept of what I was doing,” Casey told after his seven under 63.

“The seal was broken when I got to 10. It just spiraled from there.

“I like to think I would be pretty good at shooting low rounds of golf through the past but certainly nothing like that.”

Todd, a graduate of the Tour, also had an impressive day as he carded a six-under-par 64 with seven birdies, five of them coming on the back nine, and one bogey.

“It’s nice to put two under-par rounds together before the cut,” the American said. “That’s been a challenge for me this year. I’m excited to be in the last group on the weekend.”

He holds a two-shot lead over Casey and seven other players, including Players Championship winner Martin Kaymer, who produced a three-under-par 67.

Two-time Open champion Padraig Harrington, who has struggled the past few years, showed that his opening 68 was no fluke as he carded another two under to lie four shots off the pace.

Overnight leader Peter Hanson had a poor second round as he followed up his 65 with a three-over 73, and slipped down the leaderboard to a share of 25th.