Couch in the Lead at LaSalle


GLENVIEW, Ill. -- Chris Couch carded a 4-under 67 on Friday to move into the lead after two rounds of the LaSalle Bank Open. Couch completed 36 holes at 9-under-par 133.
Jess Daley fired a 7-under 64 to move into second place at 8-under-par 134. Charley Hoffman (66), Deane Pappas (68) and Brendon De Jonge (67) are one stroke further back at minus-7.
Couch, who owns four Nationwide Tour wins, opened with a birdie on the par-5 first. The 32-year-old took advantage of the next par-5, No. 5, and birdied that to get to 7 under.
The University of Florida graduate rolled in a 45-foot birdie putt on the eighth, but stumbled to a bogey at the next. Couch cruised to four straight pars around the turn at The Glen Club.
Couch, who won the Rheem Classic earlier this year, dropped in a birdie putt on the 14th to get to minus-8. Two holes later, Couch sank another birdie try to take the overnight lead at 9 under.
'It was a really solid round,' Couch said. 'I'm hitting the ball great. The putter came alive on the weekend in Arkansas and hopefully that will be the case again this week.'
Daley, who finished second at the 2003 Mark Christopher Charity Classic for his best tour finish, started on the back nine Friday and birdied the par-4 10th, his first. He carded birdies at 15 and 17 to climb to 4 under.
Around the turn, Daley birdied the first. He came back with a birdie on the par-4 third to get to 6 under. The 27-year-old kept moving up the leaderboard with a birdie on the fifth. He posted his final birdie on the seventh to close a bogey-free round.
'I gave myself a few more birdie chances inside 10 feet today,' said Daley, who is playing on a sponsor's exemption this week. 'I actually missed a lot of greens. Hopefully I'll play well enough this week so I don't have to Monday qualify anymore.'
Scott Gutschewski, who held the lead after round one, struggled to an even-par 71. He was joined in a tie for sixth at 6-under-par 136 by Mathew Goggin, Ben Bates and Kyle Thompson.
Jerry Smith and Roger Tambellini each posted rounds of 3-under 68 to move to minus-5. They are joined in a tie for 10th by Jim McGovern, Jon Mills, Robin Freeman, Jason Gore, Mario Tiziani and Joel Kribel.
The cut line fell at even-par 142 with 77 players moving on to the weekend. Brendan Jones, the 2004 winner, missed the cut by one stroke after rounds of 73-70. Troy Matteson, who had made 15 straight cuts, also finished at plus-1 to end his consecutive cuts made string.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - LaSalle Bank Open
  • Full Coverage - LaSalle Bank Open