Matt Every shot an eight-under 62 on Friday for a one-stroke lead over five other players, including Australian Steven Bowditch, midway through the Greenbrier Classic.
Every needed just 26 putts during his best round of the year and is at nine-under for the tournament on the Old White TPC course. He missed four putts inside 12 feet that could have made his bogey-free second round even more special.
“I played really well tee to green, finally made some putts,” Every said. “I haven’t made anything all year and it just finally happened today. Been waiting for it.”
Every has been in this position before, leading after the first round of the 2012 Texas Open and tying for the third-round lead at the 2012 Sony Open, yet the 29-year-old is still looking for his first PGA Tour victory.
“I know I can win out here,” he said.
One stroke behind him at eight-under are Russell Henley (65), Bill Lunde (66), Daniel Summerhays (67), Bowditch (67) and first-round co-leader Johnson Wagner (70).
Bowditch hit four birdies and one bogey in his round, which followed up a first-round 65 for a two-round total of 132.
Four others are two shots back at seven-under. Ben Curtis and Greg Owen each shot a 66, Jonas Blixt had a 67 and first-round co-leader Tommy Gainey a 71.
The next best placed Australian in Matt Jones on five-under with a share of 17th after following up Thursday’s 69 with a second round 66 that included six straight birdies to finish his round after his opening nine was punctuated with two bogeys.
Phil Mickelson is already assured of getting the weekend off. He shot 68 on Friday and finished at 2 over.
It marked the first time in his career that Mickelson missed three consecutive cuts at one tournament. Mickelson blamed his lackluster showings at the Greenbrier Classic on estimating distances with his iron shots.
“They end up not just a yard or two off from where I figure, but they’re 10 or 12 yards off from where I figure,” he said.