Henley, Fritsch on top in North Carolina
Weddington, NC (Sports Network) - Russell Henley carded a 7-under 65 on Friday to maintain a share of the lead after two rounds of the Chiquita Classic.
Henley, who was one of eight first-round leaders when the round was completed earlier Friday, was joined atop the leaderboard by Brad Fritsch, who had a 64 in round two. The duo finished 36 holes at 13-under-par 131.
Two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen (67) and defending champion Russell Knox (65) share third place at minus-11. Jason Kokrak shot 4-under 68 and is alone in fifth at 10-under-par 134.
The first round was completed earlier Friday after a 90-minute fog delay on Thursday morning pushed things back. The eight first-round leaders matched the tour record.
Henley did all of his scoring in three separate bunches. After a par on the first, he poured in three consecutive birdies from the second to move to minus-9 at The Club at Longview.
Last year's Stadion Classic winner ran off five straight pars from the fifth. Henley followed a birdie on the 10th with a bogey at No. 11. He then birdied the par-5 12th to get back to 10-under.
Henley, who was in the first group out in the afternoon wave, surged to the top of the leaderboard with birdies at 14, 15 and 16. He parred the last two to get in at 13-under, where Fritsch would later join him.
"It was nice to get some birdies early and I didn't press the whole day. I just stuck to hitting my shots at my targets and let it happen. I think the 40-foot bogey save at No. 11 really kept the round going," Henley admitted. "I'm learning to deal with things better than I have in the past even though you are never completely comfortable out here. I know how to deal with being in contention, but I'm also still learning."
Henley, who has missed the cut in two of his last three starts, is 35th on the money list. Fritsch is 27th on that list and both are trying to get into the top 25 to earn their PGA Tour cards for next season.
Fritsch started on the back nine and got going with birdies on 11 and 12. He tripped to a bogey on the 15th, but atoned for that mistake and more thanks to an eagle on the par-5 17th.
The Canadian came right back with a birdie on the 18th to make the turn at minus-9.
Fritsch, who is searching for his first tour title, birdied the second and fourth to continue his move. He also birdied the par-5 sixth to get within one of Henley. Fritsch closed his round with a birdie on the ninth to gain a piece of the lead.
"Three eagles in two days, that doesn't happen very often to anyone. I've got to consider myself a little bit fortunate in that way," Fritsch said. "It's a course where you can really get it going, especially on the par-4s. In my practice rounds, I thought the par-5s were really going to play hard this week, but I'm 10-under on them for two days. I'll just see if I can keep it going."
NOTES: The 36-hole leader has won just four of 22 events on the Web.com Tour this season ... The cut line fell at 4-under-par 140 with 60 players advancing to the weekend ... Among those who missed the cut were Woody Austin, 2-time winner this year Ben Kohles, Paul Haley II and Jason Gore.
09/28 21:07:11 ET