Varner makes PGA history as 'great opportunity' awaits in Texas


Harold Varner III made PGA Tour history after recovering from a slow start to take a one-stroke lead at the Charles Schwab Challenge.

American golfer Varner earned his place in the record books with a four-under-par 66 following the second round at Colonial Country Club on Friday.

Varner's second-round 66 is the lowest score in the ShotLink era by a player who started his round with a triple bogey or worse, dating back to 2003.

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Starting on the back nine, Varner's opening tee shot went onto a bridge and led to a one-shot penalty as he began day two with a triple bogey.

But Varner regrouped by birdieing five of his last six holes in Texas, where no fans are permitted as the PGA Tour returns amid the coronavirus pandemic after the season was postponed in March.

"Not the start I wanted, but it's just a part of golf," said Varner, who tops the leaderboard ahead of Jordan Spieth and Bryson DeChambeau.

"If I would have tripled the last, it would have added up to the same. It's a great opportunity going into the weekend."

The PGA Tour is recognising racial injustice with a moment of silence for George Floyd during this week's comeback event.

There have been nationwide protests in the United States after Floyd – an African-American man – died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.

A police officer was filmed kneeling on Floyd's neck during an arrest after he was crying out for help as he was handcuffed and pinned to the ground.

There will be a moment of silence in each of the four rounds at Colonial, reserved for 8:46am (local time) – the tee time represents the amount of time the police officer is accused of holding his knee on Floyd's neck.

Varner – who is African-American – added: "I just wanted to make that putt just to get me back to even [for the round]. I was really just focused on playing some good golf.

"It's pretty cool that the tour is doing that, but when you're out there, you're just so in the moment. Well, I was, anyway. I don't know, man, I was just trying to make a birdie."

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