Kelly Kraft posted a 63 on Friday at The Old White TPC and will head into the weekend with a one-shot lead at A Military Tribute at The GreenBrier.
Starting the day three off the lead, Kelly carded birdies on Nos. 3, 5, 8 and 9 to turn in 30. A lone back-nine bogey was offset by four more gains on Nos. 11, 13, 14, and 16, allowing the 29-year old Texan to sign for a two-day total of 13-under par.
“Yeah, it was a good day. Obviously, anytime you shoot 63, it’s a solid day,” said Kelly, ranked No. 186 in the world.
“I hit a lot of good shots, and I played well here last year, so I have a lot of good memories. Last year I didn’t putt so well, and everything today seemed like it was going in. Yesterday too.
“But it seemed like I had a makeable look almost every hole, and you’re bound to make a few of them.”
CHASING AT THE GREENBRIER
Indian Anirban Lahiri shot a low-round 61 to join Webb Simpson (67) at 12-under par. Lahiri, who started his round on the 10th, finished with nine birdies, highlighted by four quick gains out of the gate (Nos. 10, 11, 12, and 14), a hat trick after the turn (Nos. 2, 3, and 4), and two in a row to close.
“It was nice. It was a perfect day to go out there and play. The greens were pure. I think we played in the afternoon yesterday, and they were starting to get a little bumpy,” said Lahiri.
“Obviously the rain and just being out early I was able to take advantage of the conditions.”
A bogey-free 64 bumped Jason Kokrak into the fourth spot at 11 under, one clear of Whee Kim (68) and Harold Varner III (64), who were T5 at 10-under par.
A flawless round of 63 sent Sam Saunders rocketing 37 spots up the leaderboard to solo-seventh at 9 under, one better than young Chilean star Joaquin Niemann and defending champion Xander Schauffele who lead a group of eight players deadlocked at 8 under.
Tournament favorites Bubba Watson (66) and Phil Mickelson (69) remain in the hunt at 6- and 5-under, respectively.
TOP 10 LEADERS
POS-PLAYER-TOTAL SCORE (TODAY)
1. Kelly Kraft -13 (-7)
2. Anirban Lahiri -12 (-9)
2. Webb Simpson -12 (-3)
4. Jason Kokrak -11 (-6)
5. Whee Kim -10 (-2)
5. Harold Varner, III (-10)
7. Sam Saunders -9 (-7)
8. Tyler Duncan -8 (-6)
8. Kevin Na -8 (-7)
8. Joaquin Niemann -8 (-1)
8. Austin Cook -8 (-4)
8. Xander Schauffele -8 (-4)
8. Ollie Schniederjans -8 (-4)
8. Billy Hurley III -8 (-4)
8. Joel Dahmen -8 (-5)
THE GREENBRIER: KRAFT’S STATS
DRIVING DISTANCE: 287.9 yards
FAIRWAYS HIT: 21/28, 75%
GREENS IN REGULATION: 28/36, 77.8%
Par-3 Scoring: -1 (2 Birdies, 5 Pars, 1 Bogey)
Par-4 Scoring: -12 (12 Birdies, 12 Pars)
Par-5 Scoring: E (1 Birdie, 2 Pars, 1 Bogey)
Aggregate Scoring: -13 (15 Birdies, 19 Pars, 2 Bogeys)
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: ROUND TWO
EXIT QUESTION FOR KELLY KRAFT
Q: Talk about your season up to this point.
KRAFT: “Yeah, my season has been a little disappointing this year. I had a pretty good season last year, and I’ve just been kind of — I kind of had a decent start to the year, and then I slowed down mid year, and I’ve been kind of slipping on the FedEx list.
“But I’ve been working on some things that I knew were if you finally going to click. It’s just taken a little while longer than anticipated. So I’m glad I find myself up here this week, and see if I can continue the good play.”