Simpson, Streb share Wells Fargo lead


After an opening round filled with low scores, Quail Hollow showed some of its teeth Friday. Here's how things look at the halfway point of the Wells Fargo Championship, where Webb Simpson and Robert Streb are two shots clear of the field:

Leaderboard: Webb Simpson (-10), Robert Streb (-10), Martin Flores (-8), Patrick Rodgers (-8), Rory McIlroy (-7), Phil Mickelson (-7), Will Mackenzie (-7)

What it means: Streb began the day in front and at one point increased his lead to two shots, but he was later caught by Simpson, whose 67 included a pair of chip-ins. They will share the spotlight in Saturday's final pairing, while two of the tournament's biggest names sit just three shots off the pace.

Round of the day: Mickelson sputtered down the stretch in his opening round, but he bounced back in style with a 6-under 66. Lefty birdied four of his first seven holes and made seven birdies on the day, with his lone dropped shot on No. 8. He capped a back-nine 33 with an 11-foot par save on No. 18 to stay just three shots back.

Best of the rest: Steve Wheatcroft seemed headed for a missed cut after an opening 74, but the veteran bounced back with a 66 to earn a third-round tee time with room to spare. Wheatcroft made seven birdies, including four in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 4-8, and moved up more than 80 spots in the standings.

Biggest disappointment: There were a number of big names to miss the cut, including defending champ J.B. Holmes, but the biggest surprise was Adam Scott. The Aussie shot a 2-over 74 in the second round, including a 4-over 40 on the back nine, and at 1 over through 36 holes, he will miss just his second cut since May 2012.

Main storyline heading into Saturday: Simpson is a Quail Hollow member and will have a hearty rooting section, but the players to watch lurk just off the pace. Mickelson played his way back into contention at an event where he is perenially in the mix, while McIlroy described his 67 as "stress-free," which is never a good sign for the other players i the field.

Shot of the day: Colt Knost was on the wrong side of the cut line heading to No. 17 before he offered an all-time finish. Knost watched his 3-iron from 229 yards hit the green and roll in for an ace - just the second hole-in-one in the tournament's 13-year history. He added a birdie on No. 18, and after playing the "Green Mile" in 3 under, he made the cut by a shot.

Quote of the day: "Right now nobody's turning 66s into 71s better than me. It's nice to finally get that 66 score." - Mickelson.