Im takes Dominican Republic lead in bid for Masters spot

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic (AP) — Likely needing to win to get a Masters spot through the world ranking, Sungjae Im rebounded from an early double bogey to take the second-round lead Friday in the PGA Tour’s Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship.

A day before his 21st birthday, the South Korean player finished with his second straight 5-under 67 for a one-stroke lead over Jonathan Byrd (67), Aaron Baddeley (67), Paul Dunne (69) and George McNeill (65).

At 59th this week, Im needs to get into the top 50 in the next ranking to play at Augusta National. The winner doesn’t earn an automatic Masters spot because the event is being played opposite the World Golf Championships event in Texas.

Im follow the double bogey on his second hole — the par-3 11th — with birdies on four of the next five. On his back nine, he rebounded from a bogey on the par-3 second with birdies on four of the final seven holes.

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo shot 79-80 to finish 127th out of the 128 players who completed two rounds.

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