RICHMOND, Texas -- PGA Tour winner Matt Kuchar shot a
7-under 65 on Friday for a share of the second-round lead in the
Nationwide Tour Championship.
Kuchar, the former Georgia Tech star who won the 2002 Honda
Classic for his lone PGA Tour title, joined Cliff Kresge (69),
Andrew Buckle (69), Chris Baryla (67 ) and Brandt Snedecker (68) at
8-under 136 on The Houstonian course
Craig Kanada (64), Johnson Wagner (67) and Jim O'Neal (68) were
a shot back in the season-ending tournament. Kanada's 8-under round
was the second-best in tournament history, behind only Jay
Delsing's in 2002.
The winner will earn $135,000, while the season money champion
will be fully exempt on the 2007 PGA Tour and earn a spot in The
Players Championship. Nos. 2-22 on the final money list will be
conditionally exempt on the PGA Tour and Nos. 23-37 will get spots
in the final stage of Q-school.
Kuchar, 12th on the money list with $234,867, had a much better
start in the second round after a double bogey to start the first
round. He had birdie putts of 10, 8 and 12 feet on the first three
holes Friday and eagled the par-5 16th for the second day.
"It's easier to be in the right attitude when you start out
good," Kuchar said. "Yesterday was one of those days when I was
on edge. Yesterday, I was frustrated. The goal today was to go out
with a good attitude and stay patient."
Kanada sat up Thursday night watching the Louisville-Rutgers
football game and then had trouble going to sleep. The sleep loss
didn't keep him from making four straight birdies on the back nine.
Kanada started fast with scrambling birdies on two of the first
three holes. He almost went in the water on the par-5 second but a
sand wedge put him 10 feet from the hole and he made the putt for
his first birdie. He hit another sand wedge to 12 feet on the third
hole for another birdie.
"All day long, I was waiting on my swing to catch up with me
and make a bogey," Kanada said. "It never did."
His birdie run started on No. 14 when Kanada chipped to 3 feet.
He hit 6-irons in close on the next three holes and dropped those
too for birdies. He snap-hooked his tee shot on the final hole but
hit a wedge to 5 feet and saved par.
Buckle bogeyed No. 17, dropping back to eight under and into a
tie for the lead.
"I was a little bit up and down today," Buckle said. "I
birdied the first hole, but I've been struggling with my driver.
Hopefully, I'll drive a little better on the weekend."
Baryla and Kresge missed chances to take the lead late in the
round. Baryla dropped to 8 under for the tournament with a bogey on
No. 17 and Kresge made his first bogey of the day on the final
Duke (71) was 3 under, Bowden (68) 5 under, and Quinney (68) 3
Buckle entered the week 18th at $211,976, followed by
Doug LaBelle II ($210,174), John Merrick ($205,731), Bryce Molder
($202,957), No. 22 Jess Daley ($190,982) and current PGA Tour
outsiders Brenden Pappas ($189,770), Paul Gow ($179,593).
LaBelle (70) was 4 under, Merrick (71) 1 over, Molder (74) 1
over, Daley (73) 4 over, Pappas (70) 5 under, and Gow (71) 2 over.