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Kuchar Flying High in Air Canada

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Is it irony or coincidence that Matt Kuchar is in contention through two rounds of the Air Canada Championship?
 
Kuchar fired a second-round 5-under-par 66 to move to 8-under for the tournament, two shots off the 36-hole lead in Surrey, BC.
 
Hopefully, Ill be in contention over the weekend, thats all you can ask for, Kuchar said.
 
Joel Edwards shot 67 to maintain his position at the top of the leaderboard. Fridays bogey-free performance has him at 10-under-par.
 
The rough is so brutal nowand the greens being firmer, to play without a bogey today is pretty big for me, said Edwards, whose best PGA Tour finish came in tie for second in the 1992 B.C. Open.
 
Per Ulrik-Johansson (66) is tied with Kuchar for second place at 8-under. 1999 U.S. Amateur champion David Gossett is at 7-under following a second-round 68.
 
With all the hype surrounding players making their maiden or sophomore starts this week, Kuchar was lost in the crowd of others in the field.
 
In fact, its been a while since the public has gazed upon the 23-year-olds cemented smile.
 
It was four long years ago that Kuchar made a name for himself by winning the 1997 U.S. Amateur Championship.
 
He then captivated the golf community by enthusiastically tying for 21st in the 1998 Masters Tournament, and tying for 14th in the 98 U.S. Open.
 
But instead of capitalizing on his newly found fame, Kuchar kept intact his amateur status.
 
Forgoing lucrative endorsements, Kuchar returned to Georgia Tech University, where he soon became the second best player on his team, behind Bryce Molder.
 
It wasnt until this year that Kuchar made a full commitment to his professional career.
 
Hes played in five prior PGA Tour events in 2001, missing three cuts. Hes also competed in a trio of Buy.Com tournaments, with his best finish coming in a tie for second in the Siouxland Open.
 
It might surprise you to learn that Kuchar is still too young to rent a car. Hes not the shadowy elder statesman of the youth golf movement. He just stepped into the spotlight at a very early age.
 
Erik Compton, 21; Jeff Quinney, 22; and James Driscoll, 23, all made their professional debuts this week. Molder, 22, and Luke Donald, 23, did the same a week ago.
 
That list doesnt include a pair of 22-year-olds ' Gossett and Charles Howell III. Gossett won this years John Deere Classic, while Howell has earned over $1 million.
 
All of the above have impressive amateur resumes. All have powerful professional potential.
 
So, too, did Kuchar. Or is that so, too, does Kuchar?
 
Hope the guys havent forgotten me out here, joked Kuchar. Bryce, Charles and Dave Gossett have gotten off to a great start. Maybe Ill have a nice weekend and put my name in that slot.
 
Friday, Kuchar recorded six birdies and one bogey. He climbed to within one of the lead at 9-under, but bogeyed the par-4 8th to finish at minus-8.
 
As for the debutants, Compton and Quinney missed the cut; while Driscoll shot 68 to enter the weekend at 4-under.
 
Jesper Parnevik is also at 4-under following an even-par 71. Defending champion Rory Sabbatini shot 70 to finish at 5-under.
 
Overnight co-leader Greg Kraft is now four off the lead after shooting 70.
 
Full-field scores from the Air Canada Championship