JACKSON, Miss. — Will Zalatoris felt like he couldn't miss on the green, and he rarely did Friday while setting the course record with an 11-under-par 61 to share the lead with first-round leader Sahith Theegala and Nick Watney halfway through the Sanderson Farms Championship.
Zalatoris, voted the PGA Tour rookie of the year despite not having full status during the 2020-21 season, made it look so simple at the Country Club of Jackson that his longest putt for par was three feet.
Watney, coming off his worst season in a decade, backed up a solid start with another good round as he opened with four birdies in six holes and dropped only one shot on his way to a 66. Theegala also held his own after opening with a 64, new territory for the California rookie in just his second start as a PGA Tour member. He chipped in for eagle on the par-5 third hole to get right back in the mix Friday and finished with a 30-foot birdie putt for a 67.
They were at 13-under 131 with what figures to be a weekend of continued low scoring ahead after the cut was at 5 under.
Hayden Buckley and Cameron Young were one stroke back of the leaders after each had a 65, while Canada's Roger Sloan (67) was another shot back in sixth.
The group tied for seventh at 10 under included Chattanooga's Stephan Jaeger. The former Baylor School and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga standout followed his opening 68 with a 66 to move 10 spots up the leaderboard.
Two other Baylor graduates had more of a battle Friday, with Luke List (70) making the cut on the number and Keith Mitchell (71) missing it by five shots.