Less than 24 hours after breaking the Barefoot Resort Greg Norman course record with a 7-under-par 65, the 28-year-old Orlando, Fla., resident lit it up again Friday, carding a 66 for a two-day total of 131 and a six-stroke lead over Dean North (Winnipeg, MB), Nathan Green (Australia) and Graham Davidson (Scotland). Craig Matthew (Ile Bizard, QC) is at 6-under, while Dave Barr (Richmond, BC) is eight shots off the pace.
As for Barber, whose wife flew into Myrtle Beach Friday and will caddy for him over the final two rounds, his game seems to be hitting its peak right now - but that doesn't mean he will be doing any leaderboard watching this weekend.
'What everybody else does (Friday) doesn't concern me,' he said shortly after Friday's morning-draw round. 'I know I will be in good shape heading into Saturday. If I play the way I've been playing and lose, there's nothing I can do about it - that's golf.'
The whispers around Barefoot this week have centered around Barber's mini-collapse at last week's Myrtle Beach Open when he lost a one-stroke lead over the final few holes to eventual winner Eamonn Brady of Ireland. It's something Barber says isn't even weighing on his mind.
'I feel very good about my game right now. I've been trying to slow myself down all week and play at my pace. I don't feel I did everything I could to win last weekend.'
Barber caught fire on the finishing holes Friday, beginning with the par-5 15th. Two-under on the day to that point, his tee shot went wayward and almost went out of bounds. Taking advantage of his good fortune, Barber crushed a 3-iron from 220 yards out, dropping the ball within 30 feet of the cup before burying the lengthy eagle putt. After nailing down a par on the next hole, Barber sank back-to-back birdies coming home to wind up his day.
'That tee shot (had it gone out of bounds) could have been a real momentum-killer. Next thing you know, it turned a 2-under into a 6-under.'
Of the starting field of 132 players, 66 finished at even par or better to make the cut. The Golf Channel will once again carry live coverage of the final two rounds, with broadcasts beginning at 1:30pm ET on both Saturday and Sunday.
Click here for Full-Field scores from the Barefoot Classic!