Hurley grabs 2-stroke lead in Indiana
Evansville, IN (Sports Network) - Billy Hurley III carded a 4-under 68 on Friday to grab a 2-stroke lead at the end of two rounds of the United Leasing Championship.
Hurley, who is seeking his first career win on the Web.com Tour, finished 36 holes at Victoria National Golf Club at 7-under-par 137.
Joe Affrunti (69) and Kevin Tway (72) share third at 5-under, while first- round co-leader John Peterson (74) is among a large group of players tied for fourth place at minus-4.
Patrick Sheehan also held a share of the lead at the end of the first round, but tripped to a 5-over 77 on Friday to drop into a tie for 32nd place at 1- under 143.
Hurley went out with the early wave and followed an opening birdie with seven straight pars before picking up another shot at the ninth to make the turn at 5-under.
After rolling in back-to-back birdies at the 11th and 12th, he birdied the 15th to move to 8-under.
But he closed with a bogey at the last to finish at 7-under and grab the clubhouse lead. The final putt was a 25-foot effort after hitting his second shot into a greenside bunker.
"The putt broke probably four to five feet," Hurley said. "As soon as I hit it I knew it was pretty good. It kept curling in there. It was one of those puts that you never completely know it's going to go in, but it looked pretty good from where I was."
Affrunti started on the back nine and reeled off three birdies over his first four holes to race to 5-under.
He then traded a bogey at the 14th with a birdie at the 15th to stay there, and later picked up another shot at the third to pull within a shot of the lead.
But a double-bogey 5 at fifth and a bogey at the sixth dropped him four strokes off the pace.
However, Affrunti closed his round with back-to-back gains at the eighth and ninth to get back within striking distance of Hurley.
"Playing in the morning was a huge help. The first 12 or 13 holes there was no wind at all," said Affrunti. "When the wind came it wasn't as much of a factor for us. You have to take advantage of your early rounds here."
Tway also started on the back nine and raced out of the gate with birdies at the 10th and 12th before stumbling to a bogey at the 14th.
He quickly bounced back with a birdie at the 15th to again reach 6-under, but closed his outward nine with a bogey at the 18th before dropping back-to-back shots at the second and third to fall three shots off the pace.
Tway got within two strokes of Hurley with a birdie at the seventh and followed with a pair of pars to remain there.
Hurley was only surpassed for the lead once, when Peterson opened his round with consecutive birdies at the 10th and 11th to move to 8-under.
But Peterson would drop four shots over a four-hole span with a double bogey at the 14th followed by bogeys at the 15th and 17th to fall three shots off the pace.
He would later counter a bogey the fifth with a birdie at the eighth en route to his share of fourth place.
NOTES: The cut line was set at 1-over-par 145, with 73 players advancing to the weekend ... Michael Bembenick shot a 31-over 103 on Friday to finish two rounds at 48-over 192 ... Camilo Benedetti withdrew prior to the start of the second round due to back problems, while Dae-Hyun Kim withdrew during the second round.
06/28 21:14:16 ET