Kuchar, Wi reach top spot in different ways

Matt Kuchar battled illness during Round 2 of the BMW Championship.

Matt Kuchar battled illness during Round 2 of the BMW Championship.

LEMONT, Ill. – As for the BMW Championship midway co-leaders, one kept talking to his ill self for inspiration, the other looked at a message written on his pin sheet in order to stay patient.

Both modes of communication worked.

Matt Kuchar shares the lead at Cog Hill despite being tired with an undiagnosed illness that began with a scratchy throat. A doctor was unsure whether his problem is viral or bacterial, but prescribed antibiotics.

Beware of the ailing golfer, Day 2.

“I felt terrible all day,” Kuchar said after a second-round 72. “I am very excited to get home and get in bed. I tried to give as much self talk as I could, telling myself to hang in there and grind it out. I’d kind of meander up to the ball and see if I could flip a switch for about four seconds and go back to being a zombie out there.”

What co-leader Charlie Wi overcame was a triple-bogey 7 on the 16th hole, where he overdrew his tee shot into a hazard, hit his 9-iron approach short of the green and three-putted from 12 feet. Impatience and anxiety were the culprits, he said.

But he birdied the next hole. He credits words he wrote on his sheet.

“What I wrote was, ‘It’s a marathon,’ and ‘play one hole at a time,’” Wi said. “So when I walked off the 16th green, I told myself that 17 is a new challenge and see what we can do. I was really proud of myself to make birdie there.”

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