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Smith moves ahead at Chile Classic
Santiago, Chile (SportsNetwork.com) - Byron Smith carded a 6-under 66 on Friday to earn a 1-stroke lead at the Chile Classic.
Smith finished 36 holes at Prince of Wales Country Club at 13-under-par 131. The four-time winner on the PGA Tour Canada is searching for his first Web.com Tour victory.
Jorge Fernandez-Valdez also shot 66 to sit alone in second place at 12-under, while Sebastian Vazquez (70) owns third at minus-10.
"I really feel comfortable on the greens," Fernandez-Valdez said. "We changed my set up and changed the address and everything is working well."
Bhavik Patel (68), Garth Mulroy (71) and Roger Sloan (69) shared fourth at 9- under. Kyle Reifers (68), Darron Stiles (65), Blayne Barber (66), Adam Hadwin (69), Franklin Corpening (68), Brett Lederer (69) and Henrik Norlander (72) are tied for seventh at 8-under 136.
Smith started the day on fire with birdies on four of his first five holes to race to 11-under and breeze past early clubhouse leaders Barber, Reifers and Stiles.
Smith added another gain at the seventh to move to 12-under.
Sloan, meanwhile, also raced out of the gate with birdies on his first two holes before converting an eagle chance at the third. He then birdied the fourth to pull within one of the lead at minus-11.
Smith answered with a birdie at the 10th to regain some cushion and later stretched his lead to three with a birdie at the 14th, but tripped to consecutive bogeys at the 15th and 16th to fall back to 12-under.
Sloan met Smith at 12-under with a birdie at the 11th before Smith closed his round with a birdie at the 18th to finish at 13-under.
"I was leaking oil coming in today," said Smith. "I was just trying to stay relaxed, but it's been a long off season for me and it may take a while for me to get the feel and the flow back."
Sloan would then be joined in second place by Fernandez-Valdez, who followed an eagle at the 14th with a birdie at the 15th to jump to 12-under.
The Argentine had played his previous 13 holes at 3-under with four birdies and a bogey.
But moments after Fernandez-Valdez earned his share of second place, Sloan birdied the 14th to pull even with Smith at 13-under. Sloan bogeyed the 15th to drop back into a tie with Fernandez-Valdez, who parred his final three holes to end at minus-12.
Sloan fell four strokes off the pace with a double-bogey 6 at the 17th and a bogey on the 18th to finish at 9-under.
NOTES: Barber was assessed a 2-stroke penalty after his round for playing his ball in the wrong place. He moved his ball on the 16th green while picking up his ball marker ... The cut line fell at 2-under-par 142, with 74 players advancing to the weekend.
03/07 19:32:50 ET
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