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Monday qualifier Wheatcroft an unlikely leader

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HUMBLE, Texas – How dire is Steve Wheatcroft’s situation this season? Well, he owns only partial status on Tour.

No, not the PGA Tour. That would be the Web.com Tour, where he can get into only a limited number of events.

One week removed from never getting off the alternate list at the Web.com’s Chitimacha Louisiana Open, Wheatcroft decided to try to Monday qualify for this week’s Shell Houston Open and grabbed one of the four spots available in this week’s PGA Tour event.

He’s making the most of it.

With a pair of 5-under 67 rounds, Wheatcroft owns a one-stroke advantage over Jason Kokrak and D.A. Points entering the weekend.

“I don't have to worry about the money list out here,” he said of his strategy going into the final two rounds. “I don't have to worry about my status out here. If I win, it's great. It's kind of a win or nothing. I just get to go play golf this week. Everybody else can worry about their status on the PGA Tour. Hopefully I can make enough money to get temporary status out here. Or if I win, that's obviously the goal.”

Wheatcroft, who played full time on the PGA Tour last year, can solve a lot of problems by winning this week. Though he’s never won out here before, he does own two Web.com Tour wins, including one by a mammoth 12 strokes.

“Who knows? I could shoot 61 tomorrow, I could shoot 81 tomorrow. I really don't know,” he said. “I'm not going to sit here and think about it too much. I'm going to think about the first tee ball on the first tee and we'll go from there.”