"I knew I had a par 5 following it, and I figured I was probably going to make double there and birdie on the next".
Champ - already a victor on the PGA Tour season - had set the early clubhouse target after firing a round-of-the-day 62, with defending champion Patton Kizzire one of six players a further shot back in tied-third. Playing his second straight week in the fall - and his last tournament before his wedding - Spieth traded birdies and bogeys and had to settle for an even-par 71, leaving him in need of a good round Friday just to stick around for the weekend. Like I said, just had one bad hole, one bad shot really-that tee shot.
Champ, going for his second victory this season, played in the morning and had a 62 with a bogey on his final hole.
There's a logjam of golfers right behind Champ, with seven players tied for third, four strokes off the lead at 11-under, and four more golfers at 10-under. El Camaleon Golf Club is all about location - preferably the fairway - more than smashing it as far as possible. For the second straight day, Champ missed only two fairways, key to good scoring at Mayakoba.
Champ victor at the Sanderson Farms Championship in MS, was in full control as he missed only two fairways for the second straight day.
"If you're not driving it well, this course is extremely hard", Kuchar said.
The cut was at 4-under 138.
Three-time major victor Jordan Spieth, meanwhile, struggled to make an impression, hitting four birdies and four bogeys for an even-par 71. He is due to get married over Thanksgiving weekend.
Although Champ topped the leaderboard when he walked off the course, Kuchar, who started the day in a three-way tie for the lead with Dominic Bozzelli and Kramer Hickok, was soon in hot pursuit.
Seven players are at 11 under, including defending champion Patton Kizzire, past Mayakoba champion Brian Gay and Anirban Lahiri of India, who's played in the last two Presidents Cups, and New Zealand's Danny Lee.
Rickie Fowler (68) and Tony Finau (65) were at eight-under 134, along with their Ryder Cup captain, Jim Furyk, who had a 65.