Hurley shoots 63, takes Greenbrier lead


It seems only appropriate that on the Fourth of July, a former Navy officer leads on the PGA Tour. Here's how things look after two rounds at The Greenbrier Classic, where Billy Hurley III sits atop the standings in search of his first win:

Leaderboard: Billy Hurley III (-9), Kevin Chappell (-8), Chris Stroud (-8), Troy Matteson (-7), Steve Stricker (-6), Chris Kirk (-6), Brice Garnett (-6)

What it means: Hurley has been a journeyman player since leaving the Naval Academy, but he was fifth at the Honda Classic earlier this year and tied for eighth last week at Congressional. After a 7-under 63, he finds himself in unfamiliar territory as he takes a one-shot lead into the weekend.

Round of the day: Matteson appeared headed for an early exit after a 2-over 72 in the opening round, but he rebounded in style with a 9-under 61. Matteson birdied four of his first five holes while making the turn in 4-under 30, then birdied three of his last five to card the low round of the week. Just two behind Hurley, he looks for his first PGA Tour win.

Best of the rest: Hurley didn't drop a shot, with birdies on seven of his last 14 holes after opening with four straight pars. Hurley had two different stretches of three birdies across four holes, first on Nos. 14-17 and again on Nos. 4-7 as he closed his round.

Biggest disappointment: Jimmy Walker was a popular fantasy pick this week after three top-five finishes in the last four years at Greenbrier, but the FedEx Cup leader struggled in the second round, carding a 5-over 75. Walker was flirting with the cut line but played his final four holes in 4 over to miss the weekend for just the third time this season.

Main storyline heading into Saturday: It remains to be seen how Hurley can handle the spotlight as he goes for his first win at age 32, but a pair of veterans lurk in contention. Stricker is still in position after two rounds with wife Nicki on the bag, while Kirk, a winner earlier this year at Sea Island, made his 22nd cut in a row and sits just three shots off the pace.

Quote of the day: "Fourth of July has always been a special day for me just growing up, and kind of what it means for our independence. So it's kind of pretty cool, I guess, to shoot 7 under on the Fourth of July." - Hurley, who is the only current PGA Tour player to serve in active military duty.