November 17, 2018 / 2:41 AM / 6 months ago

Golf-Howell three in front at halfway at RSM Classic in Georgia

Nov 16 (Reuters) - Charles Howell remained bogey-free and extended his lead to three strokes after the second round at the RSM Classic in Georgia on Friday.

Howell added a second successive 64, this time on the par-70 Seaside course after playing his first round on the par-72 Plantation at Sea Island.

He posted a 14-under 128 halfway total, while fellow Americans Cameron Champ and Jason Gore both shot 63 at Seaside to jump into equal second place on 11-under.

Howell, 39, said he could not remember two days of better ball-striking during his nearly two-decade long professional career, which has reaped more than $35 million in prize money.

However, with only two PGA Tour victories, Howell acknowledges he is not particularly comfortable or experienced playing with the lead.

“I’ve almost done everything in my career, but playing with a lead isn’t one thing I’ve really done a whole lot of,” he told reporters.

“I could talk to you about finishing second or third a lot. As many golf tournaments as I’ve played, this is still relatively new for me, which is kind of surprising at almost 40 years old.”

Howell, who has 16 runner-ups to go with his pair of victories, said nerves were not so much the problem. Rather, he sometimes had trouble keeping his mind in the moment.

“Sometimes I’ll jump ahead of myself and get a bit excited or try too hard at times.

“Different golfers have found certain ways of dealing with (such issues) better. Like a Tiger Woods throughout his career or any guy that’s won a lot, Davis Love, he’s won 20 times.

“They found a way how to deal with that and keep getting the best out of themselves when they’re slightly uncomfortable.” (Reporting by Andrew Both in Tokyo; Editing by Ian Ransom)

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