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Kirk leads four by a shot at McGladrey Classic

Weekend Preview – PGA Tour – The McGladrey Classic – Sea Island Resort Seaside Course – St. Simons Island, Georgia –

Chris Kirk, a Georgia native and resident of St. Simons Island, leads the PGA Tour’s McGladrey Classic after a 66-66 start at Sea Island Resort’s Seaside Course.

The 28-year-old reached 8-under overall to assume a one-shot advantage heading into the weekend after outlasting windy conditions. Former U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson headlines a group of four players tied for second place.

Simpson should be the greatest challenge to Kirk on the weekend.

Webb is a past runner-up at this event in 2011 losing in a playoff to Ben Crane. He also rallied to win three weeks ago in Las Vegas. Ladbrokes.com also had him as the betting favorite at 10-to-1 odds.

Darkness prevented the field from finishing up round two Friday, so the cut will take place Saturday morning. Kevin Chappell, Briny Baird (63 in the opening round) and John Senden are all T-2 with Simpson.

Nearly two dozen players are within four shots of the lead including Matt Kuchar (T-14 at 4-under at the moment). With two victories in 2013 this year, he is the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 8.

Kirk, a six-year pro, has a PGA Tour victory at the 2011 Viking Classic. He also won twice in 2010 on the Web.com Tour. He finished 47th on the PGA Tour Money List in the 2013 making 20 of 24 cuts. His best effort was a runner-up at the AT&T Pebble Beach in February.

Kirk, 93rd in the Official World Golf Ranking, was a 50-1 pick to start the tournament.

Other Golf News:

  • Masters champion Adam Scott (10-under) shot even par in round three against difficult conditions at the Australian PGA Championship. The World No. 2 continues to lead the event by three shots over Rickie Fowler.
  • George McNeill opened with 62 at the Sea Island Resort before stumbling to a 76 in the second round. He is T-27 at the moment at 2-under overall.
  • American Brittany Lincicome (7-under) is just a shot back of three co-leaders at the LPGA Mizuno Classic with one round to play. Rolex Ranking No. 3 Stacy Lewis, the defending champion, is just three back and T-10.
  • Four players including Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson are tied for the lead at 12-under through two rounds at the European Tour’s Turkish Airlines Open. Tiger Woods is just a shot behind after carding a 63 in round two. Justin Rose and Lee Westwood (T-9) trail by four.
  • Tournament host Davis Love III, who finished T-4 on Sea Island a year ago, will miss the cut this time around. he carded rounds of 75-74.