MADISON, Miss. – Brendon de Jonge used a fast early start to shoot his second straight 66 on Friday, then sat back and waited to see whether anyone could catch him.
Bill Haas answered the challenge with another 66, joining de Jonge at 12 under after two rounds. Neither leader had a bogey during their second round at Annandale Golf Club.
De Jonge, who made his 30th start this year at the Viking Classic, never held a second-round lead before, although he has finished in the Top 10 six times this year. He said his second round was not perfect, but close enough.
“You never want to say it’s an easy round,” he said. “I felt like it could have been a couple better, but I’ll take 66 any time.”
De Jonge, 36th on the PGA money list, is still looking for first victory.
“I’ve been there late on Sunday several times this year,” he said. “Obviously, I haven’t been able to close the deal, but I’ve definitely had some very good opportunities this year.”
Haas, who shot back-to-back bogey-free rounds, credited his putting for keeping him from bogeying.
“Yeah, I played solid,” Haas said. “I think I made about a 5 footer on hole No. 4. That’s about the longest putt I’ve had to save par.
“There’s easy holes out there, and there’s hard holes. You’ve got to make sure you par those hard holes.”
Haas said he was surprised at how well he was playing, having taken the last two weeks off.
Michael Allen, winless since joining the tour in 1984, finished three strokes back after a 6-under 66. Allen is one of eight active players without a win. Nathan Green offset a bogey with five birdies for a 68 on the day, putting him at 9 under through two rounds.
Bill Lund who had a share of the first-round lead, shot a 70 to put him four strokes back, and Joe Durant’s round of 67 left him at 7 under.
The best rounds of the day were posted by Chris Stroud and Roland Thatcher, who shot 65s. Stroud was 6 under with five others, Thatcher was at 139.
The cut was made at even-par and left 79 players in the field. A second cut will be made on Saturday when the tournament will try to get to the top 70 players.
Among the players not making the cut were David Duval, John Daly, and 2008 Masters champion Trevor Immelman.