Kirk holds lead at suspended McGladrey Classic
Sea Island, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Kirk carded a 4-under 66 on Friday to grab a 1-stroke lead at the McGladrey Classic, which was suspended for the second straight day due to darkness.
Kirk finished two rounds at blustery Sea Island Resort at 8-under 132, one stroke ahead of Kevin Chappell (68), Briny Baird (70), Webb Simpson (68) and John Senden (67).
Jason Kokrak (65), Scott Brown (68), Ted Potter, Jr. (67) and Tim Clark (67) shared sixth place at 6-under. Brian Harman (68), Matt Every (68), Jonathan Byrd (69) and Brian Gay (72) were tied for 10th at minus-5.
Seung-Yul Noh is also at 5-under through 14 holes and will need to complete his second round when play resumes at 8:00 a.m. Saturday.
Chappell held the clubhouse lead at the end of the morning wave, starting his round with back-to-back birdies at the 10th and 11th before tripping to a birdie at the 12th.
He later rolled in a 24-foot putt for eagle at the 15th to make the turn at 8- under.
He struggled at the start of his inward nine, however, following a bogey at the first with a double-bogey 5 at the third after he hit his tee shot out of bounds.
Chappell got two of those strokes back with a pair of birdies at the fifth and eighth to head into the clubhouse at 7-under.
"You hit some not-so-perfect shots and get some bad breaks with the wind gusting and you get exposed really quickly," said Chappell. "I was fortunate to come to that realization that there's some luck involved today and that maybe for a period of time I was one of the luckier guys out here."
That lead held throughout the afternoon wave as the players struggled in the windy conditions until Kirk birdied five holes in a seven-hole span from the 11th to move ahead at 8-under.
Kirk's run started after he opened his second round with a bogey at the 10th. He holed out for birdie from off the green at the 11th before reeling off three straight gains from the 13th, including another birdie from off the green at the 14. Kirk capped the run with a 13-foot birdie putt at the 17th to claim the outright lead.
Kirk was later joined atop the leaderboard when Baird converted a 15-foot birdie effort at the sixth -- his 15th -- to reach 8-under.
Baird had recovered from a disappointing front nine that included three bogeys and a birdie with back-to-back gains at the second and third prior to his birdie at the sixth. But he 2-putted for bogey at the seventh to fall a shot off the pace.
Kirk dropped a shot at the fourth after he was forced to take a penalty stroke because of an errant tee shot.
Those mistakes allowed Simpson to grab the outright lead at 8-under following his 2-putt birdie at the par-5 15th.
Simpson played his previous 14 holes bogey-free, converting birdie chances at the first and seventh.
But he also could not hang on to sole possession of first after 2-putting for bogey at the 17th to fall to 7-under and into a tie for the lead with Chappell, Baird, Brown and Kirk.
"Before I played I would take anything under par," Simpson said about the gusty conditions, which included winds up to 30 miles per hour. "I think the game plan before the round (was to know) club selection so you don't get to a hole and you're shocked and you don't know what to do. That was big for us."
Kirk broke out of the pack with an 8-foot birdie putt at the seventh to again claim the outright lead at 8-under. He closed his round with a pair of pars moments before play was halted for darkness.
NOTES: The first round was completed Friday morning after the opening round was interrupted for nearly two hours on Thursday due to fog ... Kirk is seeking his second career victory on the PGA Tour. His first came at the 2011 Viking Classic ... Eighteen players will need to complete their second rounds on Saturday ... The cut line currently sits at 1-over-par 141, with 71 players projected to advance to the final two rounds when play was halted.
11/08 18:44:44 ET