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Jeff Overton takes a four shot lead

Jeff Overton shot an 8-under 62 on Friday to take a four-stroke lead midway through the inaugural Greenbrier Classic.

Overton, winless in five years on the PGA Tour, shot the low round of the tournament, using wedges on all but one approach shot during a bogey-free round on the Old White course. He was 14 under.

Boo Weekley, finally healthy after tearing a labrum in his left shoulder a year ago, was 10 under after a 63.

Weekley hit 17 greens in regulation and had seven birdies during a bogey-free morning round for a two-day total of 10 under.

“I’m excited to play again,” Weekley said. “Feels like I can actually come out and compete and don’t have to take a bunch of (pain relievers) or nothing where I can play.”

Jimmy Walker (64) and double heart transplant recipient Erik Compton (68) were 9 under. Compton, the first-round co-leader, is playing on a sponsor’s exemption.

Australia’s Aaron Baddeley (65), Briny Baird (65), Chris Stroud (63) and Charles Howell III (67) were six strokes back at 8 under.

Old White’s length and lack of deep rough have led to an assault on the pins, and rains that softened the greens earlier in the week have made solid scoring even more possible.

The 27-year-old Overton hit 15 of 18 greens and needed just 26 putts in his best round of the year. He topped his previous low of 7-under 63 at the Colonial.

“I don’t really know the last time I was playing with this much confidence,” said Overton, who’s winless in five years on the PGA Tour. “I’m just kind of getting used to the whole PGA Tour lifestyle.”

Starting on the back nine, Overton came to the par-4 seventh needing to close with three birdies for a 59. His approach from 85 yards landed 18 feet from the pin and he slid his putt to the right. He finished with three straight pars but wasn’t disappointed.

The Bloomington, Ind., resident is having his best season since joining the Tour in 2006 with four top five finishes, including three in his last six events. Overton finished second by two strokes each at the Zurich Classic and the Byron Nelson Championship.

Overton is 12th in FedEx Cup points and could vault to No. 2 with a win, depending on the finishes of two players higher than him in the field, Jim Furyk at No. 5 and Matt Kuchar at No. 7.

“Obviously I’d take a win over a second any day of the week—over 100 seconds,” Overton said. “You never know when it’s your time.”

Furyk was at 7 under in the Greenbrier Classic and Kuchar was 2 under.

Weekley equaled his lowest round of the year. He had seven birdies during a bogey-free round played in the morning.

Weekley was injured last year at the TPC Sawgrass, stopped playing for more than a month and was left with a limited range of motion.

He lost 20 pounds (9 kilograms) and only started feeling better about his game three weeks ago at the John Deere Classic, when he finished 21st.

“It’s been kind of aggravated like a thorn in me,” he said. “Just feel like you can’t take it back some days, and some days don’t feel like I can come through the ball.”

Weekley was a member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team that beat Europe in 2008 but was ranked No. 172 in the world this week with only three top 10s in the last two years. His only two Tour wins were at the 2007 and 2008 Heritage.

Walker was poised to overtake Weekley but had two late bogeys.

Compton couldn’t grind out the birdies that dominated his first round, when he tied Matt Every for the lead at 7 under.

“I was just frustrated because three birdies out here is not acceptable,” Compton said. “I need to be a little better keeping it below the hole.”

Still, Compton, looking to solidify a future either on the PGA Tour or the Nationwide circuit, put himself in good position for the weekend. His highest finish is 30th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Every made double bogey at the par-5 17th, shot 72 and was nine strokes back.

Carl Pettersson, last week’s Canadian Open winner who barely made the cut in that tournament, shot 64 Friday and was at 5 under, three strokes above the cut line.


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