Kirk edges clear at Sea Island

US Tour

Chris Kirk carded a second 66 to claim a one-shot clubhouse lead at the McGladrey Classic before darkness halted the second round.

At eight-under par, Kirk is one shot ahead of Briny Baird, Kevin Chappell, John Senden and of 2012 US Open champion Webb Simpson.

In tricky, windy conditions, Kirk managed five birdies on the back nine, including holding a 40-footer on the 11th green and a 60-foot chip-in on the 14.

The highlight of Senden’s day occurred when he eagled the par-five 15th and went on to card his second successive 67 before play was stopped early for the second time this week.

Chappell carded a double-bogey on the par-three third, but bounced back with an eagle and four birdies to finish the day with a two-under par 68.

“You hit some not-so-perfect shots and get some bad breaks with the wind gusting and you get exposed really quickly,” Chappell said after his round.

“I was fortunate to come to that realization that there’s some luck involved today and that maybe for a period of time I was one of the luckier guys out here.”

Simpson kept his mistakes to a minimum and made only one bogey to stay in contention for the title, while Baird cancelled out his four birdies with four bogeys to end the day with an even par 70.

The former US Open champion Simpson, fresh from his victory in Las Vegas last month, was particularly happy with his efforts in tricky conditions.

“Before I played, I would take anything under par,” he said after his round.

“The game plan before the round was to know club selection so you don’t get to a hole and you’re shocked and you don’t know what to do.”

Overnight leader George McNeill, who carded a 62 on Thursday morning, made five consecutive bogeys and dropped down the leaderboard with a 76.

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