July 8, 2017 / 12:59 AM / 16 days ago

Golf - Munoz pads Greenbrier lead

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Jul 7, 2017; White Sulphur Springs, WV, USA; Sebastian Munoz hits from the 7th fairway during the second round of The Greenbrier Classic golf tournament at The Old White TPC. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Sebastian Munoz followed up his opening 61 with a three-under-par 67 to increase his lead to three strokes after the second round of the Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia on Friday.

The Colombian posted a 12-under 128 halfway total on the Old White TPC in White Sulphur Springs. Ben Martin (67) and Hudson Swafford (66) moved into a share of second on nine-under.

After a first-round 63, 21-times PGA Tour winner Davis Love III posted a 69 to fall four strokes off the pace, where he was joined by Russell Henley (64) and New Zealand's Danny Lee (68), the defending champion.

After a late finish on Thursday, Munoz was happy he did not have too long to think about his lead before getting back to business on Friday and made another strong start with four birdies in his first seven holes in ideal morning conditions.

Though he could not quite maintain his run, he had no complaints about his position, and eight-foot par-save at the last further buoying his spirits.

Jul 7, 2017; White Sulphur Springs, WV, USA; Sebastian Munoz shakes hands with Sam Saunders after finishing the second round of The Greenbrier Classic golf tournament at The Old White TPC. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

“It's fantastic,” he told reporters. “No regrets. Excited.”

Munoz hopes to benefit from the experience of sharing the halfway lead four weeks ago in Memphis, where he plunged over the weekend to finish equal 60th after playing the final 36 holes in 11-over.

Jul 7, 2017; White Sulphur Springs, WV, USA; Sebastian Munoz putts on the 18th green during the second round of The Greenbrier Classic golf tournament at The Old White TPC. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

“I feel like Memphis taught me that maybe I was caring too much, trying to hit too many perfect shots all the time,” said the PGA Tour rookie.

Lee, meanwhile, bounced back from a double-bogey at the par-five 12th, his third hole, and stayed in the hunt to successfully defend his title after a two-year wait after floods forced the event to be cancelled last year.

Lee said the course really suited his game.

“I love hitting three woods off the tee and some of the courses it’s too long to do that, but this course it just sets up perfect for a lot of those,” he added.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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