Second 65 Keeps Lewis in Lead


SILVIS, Ill. -- J.L. Lewis fired his second straight 6-under 65 on Friday to grab the lead at the John Deere Classic. Lewis stands at 12-under-par 130 when second-round play was suspended.
The second round was delayed for 35 minutes due to heavy rain. Action was later called for the evening due to darkness with eight players left on the course. Those players will return to the course at 8:15 AM ET to complete their rounds. The third round will start at approximately 10:00 AM ET with players going off both the first and 10th tees in threesomes.
Jonathan Byrd, who shared the overnight lead with Lewis, is two strokes behind the leader after a 4-under round of 67. He stands at 10-under-par 132. Vijay Singh is alone in third place at 8-under-par 134, with Paul Stankowski and Chris Riley tied one stroke further back at minus-7.
Lewis opened his round on the front nine at the TPC at Deere Run. He quickly opened a two-stroke lead on Byrd with birdies at the second and fifth. As Byrd fought back and briefly grabbed the lead as the two changed nines, Lewis caught fire around the turn.
Lewis, the 1999 John Deere Classic winner, got up-and-down for birdie at the par-5 10th and took the lead as he made a 15-foot birdie at the 12th that moved him to 10 under. He continued his hot play with a birdie at the par-3 14th.
The 43-year-old chipped in for eagle at the par-5 17th to briefly move three strokes ahead of Byrd. However, Lewis bogeyed the last to finish with a two-shot lead.
'Well, I'm putting awfully well,' said Lewis, who has needed 50 putts to complete his first two rounds. 'I don't know if you ever score better than you're capable of. I've scored pretty good for the way that I've played.'
Byrd started on the back nine and closed out that side in fine fashion. After a slow start, he birdied the 15th and then sank back-to-back birdies from the 17th to head to the front side at 9 under.
He briefly took the lead at minus-10 with a birdie at the par-5 second. However, Byrd dropped a shot at the fifth but bounced back to birdie No. 6. The 2002 Buick Challenge winner again stumbled to a bogey on No. 7, but was able to recover again with a birdie at the next.
'I struggled at times today, but overall I was very pleased with how I handled myself,' Byrd said. 'You always like to follow bogeys with birdies, so I'm very pleased with how I responded to those bogeys.'
Bernhard Langer fired a 6-under 65 to move into a share of sixth place at 6-under-par 136. He is joined there by Justin Leonard and Kevin Sutherland, who posted matching rounds of 4-under 67.
Akio Sadakata is the highest remaining player on the course. He stands at 5 under par through 16 holes. He is joined there by Pat Perez (68), Glen Day (65) and Hidemichi Tanaka (67).
The projected cut line is 1-over-par 143. If it stays there, 83 players will play the final two rounds. J.P. Hayes, the defending champion, stands right on the cut line of plus-1 after rounds of 70 and 73.
Related Links:
  • John Deere Classic Leaderboard
  • Full Coverage - John Deere Classic