The Barclays: Matt Kuchar Holds Overnight Lead As Round Two Drags Into Saturday

By Brandon Raper
Matt Kuchar The Barclays Second Round
The Star Ledger – USA TODAY Sports

The Barclays is shaping up to be quite the tournament. Each day so far, a new course record has been set at Liberty National; Thursday’s seven-under 64 by Kevin Stadler was outdone by Keegan Bradley‘s round of 63 on Friday. Of course, you have to wonder: just when will this thing end?

Play was suspended due to darkness once again in Jersey City, N.J. with 41 players left to finish their second rounds. The heavy rains that moved through the area on Thursday caused over six hours of delays to the event’s first round, and play still hasn’t caught up to pace. The tournament will resume at 7:30 Saturday morning, and after the cut, the third round is projected to begin at approximately 10:30 a.m.

One player who doesn’t seem to mind the odd schedule so far is Matt Kuchar, who holds the overnight lead heading into Saturday’s action. As of this writing, Kuchar is at five-under-par through 13 holes, one shot ahead of Webb Simpson and Gary Woodland, who will both get to sleep in a bit tomorrow, and share the clubhouse lead at -9.

Seeing Kuchar atop the leaderboard of any tournament really shouldn’t come as a shock to anybody these days. The key to his success so far this week, though, is surprising. For the entire 2013 season, Kuchar ranks 142nd on the PGA Tour in driving accuracy at a paltry 57.62 percent. So far at the Barclays, he’s hitting at 87.50 percent, good for third in the field. Add that to his usually impressive putting, and with only two bogeys so far, he’s not likely to give up the lead anytime soon.

Asked about his performance, Kuchar didn’t seem bothered by all the odd scheduling caused by the rain.

“I’ve been playing some good golf,” Kuchar said to USA TODAY. “I’m glad I came out and continued the good form. Yesterday, we had a bunch of stop and go’s, and I’m hoping the stop and go won’t last, and the good form will continue.”

If it does, Kuchar will be a tough guy to chase down. It’ll be interesting to see if the course stays as receptive to scoring through the weekend, but either way, the players looking up at his name on the leaderboard have their work cut out for them.

Brandon Raper is a golf writer for “Like” him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @Brandon__Raper, and add him to your Google+ network.

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