Jimmy Walker strides into halfway lead at WGC-Bridgestone

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Jimmy Walker, one week away from the defense of his PGA Championship title, fired a five-under 65 to seize a two-shot lead after two rounds of the World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational on Friday.

Walker was unfazed by a pair of weather delays totaling nearly five hours and registered six birdies and a bogey to reach the midway mark on seven-under-par 133 at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.

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First-round leader Thomas Pieters of Belgium was alone in second after adding a level-par 70 to his opening 65.

Tied for third on four-under 136 were world number three Hideki Matsuyama, who posted three late birdies for 67, four-times major winner Rory McIlroy (69) and twice major winner Zach Johnson (67).

“Once we got back out there after the delay, I think everybody felt a little flat,” said McIlroy. “I didn’t help myself by missing a few chances as soon as we came back out.

“Luckily I found one birdie coming in,” added the Northern Irishman, who chipped in for birdie at the 16th.

British Open champion Jordan Spieth shot even-par to stand another shot back with Australian Jason Day among six players bunched at 137.

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