PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico — Harris English believes he got away from the basics that carried him to a promising start to his PGA Tour career. He hopes he's headed in the right direction again.
The former Baylor School and University of Georgia golfer holed a chip-and-run shot from off the 18th green at El Camaleon Golf Club on Saturday for a birdie and a 7-under-par 64, giving him the 36-hole lead at the Mayakoba Golf Classic as he tries to end six years without winning.
English was at 13-under 129, one shot ahead of Vaughn Taylor, who had a 66 in the afternoon. Brendon Todd, coming off a victory two weeks ago at the Bermuda Championship, shot a 68 and was two strokes out of the lead.
"Just mainly working on the same stuff every day and kind of going back to the drawing board and figuring out what I was doing really well my first couple years on tour and just stick to that, not trying to reinvent the wheel," English said.
Whatever he's doing, English is on a roll.
The 30-year-old had to go back to the Korn Ferry Tour Finals after last season to regain his card. Since then, he has finished in the top 10 in three of his four tournaments.
Next up for everyone left in the field is a long Sunday.
Because rain washed out all of Thursday, players will go as long as they can before darkness, with the 72-hole event concluding Monday. Even with the new policy of the top 65 and ties making the cut, 82 players advanced to the final two rounds.
The course, which received more than nine inches of rain from Monday through Thursday, dried remarkably well and the greens had plenty of pace. English motored along, rarely getting into too much trouble. He birdied his last two holes to set the standard.
English won this tournament in 2013 when it was the final PGA Tour event of the year. That was his most recent win, 170 tournaments ago.
"I had a lot of success here and I love this place, love the greens," said English, whose other PGA Tour win happened at the 2013 FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis. "Feel like if I can get it on the dance floor and hit 14, 15, 16 greens a round, I can give myself a chance. With this wind, anything can happen, but if I stay the course and keep hitting like I am, I'm in a good spot."
So is Todd, who overcame the mental block — he called it the yips — of a big miss to the right that nearly drove him from the game. Todd got it sorted out and picked up loads of confident with his victory in the inaugural Bermuda event.
His only frustration Saturday was with putting.
"I hit it to 25 feet, six feet, 12 feet, four feet, and then missed a 12-footer for par on 5," he said. "Striped it at the flag on 7, and on 8 I hit a close one in there about 10 feet and burned the edge. I just didn't get the putts to fall in the second nine."
Danny Lee, who started the tournament 10 under through 13 holes for a 62, shot a 70 and was three shots back.
"Just missed a couple putts out there, made bogey on a couple par 5s," he said. "Just golf happened."
Jason Day, playing the event for the first time in 10 years as he tries to get ready for next month's Presidents Cup, shot a 77 and missed the cut, which was at 1 under. So did the other two former Baylor School golfers in the field, Luke List and Keith Mitchell — Mitchell (73) by a stroke and List (78) by six shots.