5 Things: A. Putnam, Knox share Shriners lead

With two rounds complete in Las Vegas, it’s Andrew Putnam and Russell Knox tied atop the leaderboard at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Putnam, a 2014 Tour grad, and Knox, who qualified for three FedEx Cup playoff events last season, both sit at 10 under, a shot clear of Andrew Svoboda and Tony Finau.

Here are 5 Things you need to know from Friday’s action at TPC Summerlin:

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1. THE LEADERS: Andrew Putnam is making just his fourth PGA Tour start this week at TPC Summerlin. In his previous three Tour starts, Putnam missed the cut.

After shooting a 6-under 65 Friday to grab a share of the lead with Russell Knox, the 2014 Tour grad will be playing the weekend for the first time on Tour.

Putnam, the brother of PGA Tour player Michael Putnam, made a bogey at the par-4 third early in his round, but went bogey-free with seven birdies after that.

“I had a good day today,” Putnam told “It was a pretty clean round.”

Knox also got off to a slow start Friday with bogeys on two of his first three holes. But he ended up with six birdies and a second-round 67.

The 29-year-old Scot finished 40th in last season’s FedEx Cup standings with his season highlight coming in a playoff loss at the Honda Classic. He also enjoyed a solid finish to the 2013-14 campaign – T-38 at The Barclays, T-26 at the Deutsche Bank Championship and T-23 at the BMW Championship.

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2. THE CHASERS: Another 2014 Tour grad, Tony Finau, sits in a share of third place along with Andrew Svoboda at 9 under.

The 25-year-old from Salt Lake City started the season with a T-12 finish at the Open, which was just his fourth career Tour start. He’s continued the strong play this week in Las Vegas, shooting 68-65 through two rounds.

“That was the goal – to get myself in striking distance going into the weekend,” Finau said.

A long driver of the golf ball, Finau hit a 371-yard drive to set up a closing birdie at the par-5 ninth, where he splashed his second shot from the sand to about 2 feet.

“After a big drive like that, you don’t wanna give up a shot,” Finau said. “It was a huge bunker shot for me.”

Also within striking distance is defending champion Webb Simpson, who shared fifth place with seven others at 8 under. Simpson shot 6-under 65 in his second round.

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3. A SANDY SECOND: It was a crazy day for Stewart Cink.

Cink entered Friday’s second round tied for the lead with Martin Laird at 7 under. But after two holes, Cink found himself at just 3 under overall.

At the par-4 11th, his second hole of the day, Cink found the front greenside bunker with his approach shot. He then played his next four shots from the sand. His third shot flew into the back greenside bunker. Then, his fourth ended up back in the front trap. His fifth sailed back into the back bunker before he finally found the green with his sixth shot.

The final result at the 11th was a quadruple-bogey 8.

Cink finished the day with the quad, a double bogey, two bogeys and four birdies for a 4-over 75. He enters Saturday at 3 under.

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4. SHOT OF THE DAY: The NBA regular season is almost here, so to hold you over until then, here’s this “slam-dunk” courtesy of Tim Clark:

Clark’s hole-out eagle at the par-4 18th helped him card at 4-under 67 and move to 7 under.

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5. SHORT SHOTS: Billy Horschel, making his first PGA Tour start since winning the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup, missed the cut after shooting 71-72 for a 1-over 143. … The cut fell at 2 under par with 79 players making the weekend. … Among those missing the cut were Morgan Hoffmann, Patrick Rodgers, Cameron Tringale, Max Homa, Ryan Moore, Chesson Hadley, Justin Thomas and last week’s winner Sang-Moon Bae. … Jarrod Lyle, twice a leukemia survivor, made the cut at 5 under after a second-round 71.

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