Lile 36-Hole Leader in Arkansas


Nationwide TourFORT SMITH, Arkansas -- PGA TOUR rookie Craig Lile shot a 6-under 64 Friday to take the lead midway through the Nationwide Tour's Fort Smith Classic.
Lile hit 13 fairways and just 12 of 18 greens in regulation, but still enjoys a one-shot lead over Scott Gutschewski at 11-under 129.
'I had a good day. Overall I can't complain,' said Lile, a South African who lives nearby in Rogers, Okla. 'I haven't been shooting many 64s lately. The ball rolled in the right direction and kept falling in the hole for me today.'
Gutschewski, the first-round leader, had a 3-under 67 Friday and stands at 10-under 130. Camilo Benedetti, Michael Boyd and Jon Mills each shot 66 to share third place at 9-under 131.
Lile had five birdies in a six-hole stretch from No. 2, then made his only bogey of the round at the par-4 ninth. He also had birdies at Hardscrabble's 11th and 12th.
It's only a 36-hole lead, but Lile will take anything at this point.
After finishing a career-best 27th on the Nationwide Tour money list last season, Lile has struggled as a rookie on the PGA TOUR, making the cut in just three of his eight starts. His best finish was a tie for 34th at the season-opening Sony Open.
Lile missed the cut at his last Nationwide Tour start, too, at last month's South Georgia Classic.
'You never figure this game out,' he said. 'You're never in control of it. You're always on the edge of the fence and you could fall off on either side. But my game feels like it is starting to come around.'
Lile has finished runner-up three times on the Nationwide Tour without winning.
'I can't think of another tournament (on the Nationwide Tour) I'd rather win,' Lile said. 'I live about 45 minutes from here. It is always nice to play a tournament and sleep in your own bed.'
Further down the leaderboard, Keith Nolan fired the best score of the day with a 9-under 61 to climb from a tie for 126th place overnight into a tie for ninth place at 7-under 133.
The cut line fell at 3-under 137 with 67 players moving on to the weekend.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Fort Smith Classic