NANTONG, China—Despite his consistent play this year, performances that have put Max McGreevy at No. 5 on the Order of Merit, one thing the University of Oklahoma graduate hasn’t done is hold a lead after any PGA TOUR Series-China tournament round. That dry spell ended Friday as McGreevy, after shooting a second consecutive 5-under 67, sits alone at the top of the Nantong Championship leaderboard. He leads the duo of Samuel Del Val and Woojin Jung by two shots, with four others three shots back.
With three top-fives this year—more than any other player—and made cuts in all five previous tournaments, what else is missing from McGreevy’s resume is a win. His close calls came at the Sanya Championship (tied for second), the Beijing Championship (tied for third) and the Chongqing Championship (fourth). After 13 birdies in the first two rounds at Nantong Yangtze River Golf Club, McGreevy looks to break through for the first time in his professional career that has included a season on the Web.com Tour (2018) and the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada (2017).
“I’m just glad I’m giving myself another chance. My game feels really good,” said McGreevy following the round.
It did take McGreevy a while to get going Friday, with four consecutive birdies to start his day. Birdies on the fifth and sixth holes, along with a birdie on the par-5 ninth, moved him to 3-under as he headed to the back nine. He kept the momentum going with a second consecutive par-5 birdie, at No. 10. He then suffered his only bogey of the day, at No. 14. McGreevy rebounded nicely after that, with a birdie-par-par-birdie finish to close to his day.
Despite bookend bogeys to start and close his round, Del Val still finds himself in solid position entering the weekend. In between those bogeys at Nos. 1 and 18, the Spaniard put together four birdies, giving him a share of second place with South Korea’s Jung, who was smiling following his round after a closing birdie on his final hole of the day.