After being treated to benign scoring conditions Thursday, players were greeted by blustery, swirling winds Friday at Harbour Town, where birdies were hard to come by. Here's the skinny heading into the third round of the RBC Heritage, where three names sit atop a crowded leaderboard:
What it means: Having claimed his maiden victory last month in Tampa, Streelman is once again in position to lift a trophy this week at Harbour Town. He's joined at the top by Hoffman, who tied for third at the Valero Texas Open in his most recent start, and LeBrun, a veteran still in search of his first top-10 finish on the PGA Tour.
Round of the day: After unexpectedly missing the cut at Augusta National, McDowell is once again back on the first page of a PGA Tour leaderboard after a 4-under 67 Friday. The Ulsterman began the day slowly, parring each of his first four holes, but birdied three of the next five to ignite his round. After five birdies and only one bogey Friday, McDowell sits at 4-under overall and will begin the weekend just two shots off the pace.
Best of the rest: Following a 4-over 75 Thursday, Matt Jones appeared to be headed for an early exit from Hilton Head. The Australian rebounded Friday, though, notching seven birdies en route to a 4-under 67, tying McDowell for low round of the day honors. Jones closed with birdies on four of his final eight holes, and after tumbling down the leaderboard Thursday he will now start Saturday's third round at even par overall.
Biggest disappointment: With seven career top-10 finishes at Harbour Town, Ernie Els was considered a possible contender by many entering the week. Instead, the South African is heading home early after a pair of 2-over 73s, missing the cut at Hilton Head for the third year in a row. After leading the field in putting at Augusta National, Els managed just three birdies in 36 holes this week.
Main storyline heading into Saturday: Who can emerge from a crowded leaderboard? The list of players currently within three shots of the lead – 23 in total – includes an assortment of established veterans, grinding journeymen and younger players still looking to break through. With questionable weather conditions expected throughout the weekend, the tournament remains wide open with two rounds still to play.
Shot of the day: A runner-up earlier this year in Puerto Rico, Jordan Spieth is now a special temporary PGA Tour member, hoping to play his way to a full Tour card for the 2013-14 season. His second round got off to a hot start at Harbour Town when, after his second shot to the par-5 second came up 30 yards short of the green, Spieth found the hole with his subsequent pitch shot. The eagle helped him to an outward 32 Friday, and at 3-under 139 Spieth heads into the weekend firmly in contention.
Quote of the day: “I thought par was going to be a good score on every hole. I knew if you could make 18 pars and shoot a 71, it was going to be a good day.' – Leishman, following an even-par 71 during the second round that included two birdies and two bogeys.