As a rookie on the Nationwide Tour, Marc Leishman says the toughest thing for him is getting to know the different courses he plays on every week.
But it certainly hasn't taken the tall Australian long to get accustomed to the Willow Creek Country Club layout.
Leishman fired an 8-under-par 63 Friday, which, coupled with a 65 a day earlier, gives him the second-round lead at 14-under 128. Kyle Thompson, a regular on the PGA Tour, is one shot behind at 129 after a 65 Friday, while Brendan Todd, a 23-year-old rookie from Georgia, stands at 130 after a second-round 66.
The 24-year-old from Melbourne, who stands 6-foot-3, is one of 13 Australians playing in this week's tournament. He saw the course for the first time Tuesday during a practice round and took an immediate liking to it.
"I have never seen most of these courses," he said. "But around here it feels pretty good. A lot of the holes fit my eye."
Leishman had just one bogey on the day, at No. 7, and added nine birdies. He didn't have any long putts like the day before, but he did chip one in from 30 feet at No. 6 and made a few putts in the 6- to 10-foot range.
"I birdied all the par-5s today and that's big around here with five par-5s," he said.
After playing the Nationwide Tour for the past five years, Thompson earned his PGA Tour card this year. But since he didn't qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs this week, he had the option to come back and play the Nationwide.
"For a lot of guys, it might have been an ego thing (not to play here this week), but not for me," he said. "I'm very comfortable here. People underestimate how good this Tour is."
Todd teed off at the same time as Leishman, but he played on the opposite nine and was neck-and-neck with the Aussie on the leaderboard most of the day. He was 13-under after making six birdies on the day but bogeyed No. 9, his final hole, for a 66 and a 130 total. A day earlier he had bogeyed the final hole to keep himself out of a share for the lead.
Former BYU star Bobby Clampett shot a 67 and is all alone in sixth place at 133. He wore a "Y" hat and had his coach Karl Tucker and some former teammates following him.
Farmington's Daniel Summerhays, a Nationwide regular who ranks 34th on the money list and is trying to get closer to the top 25, had a solid round of 68 and stands in a tie for seventh at 134. After a 1-over-par 36 on the front, he eagled No. 10 and added birdies at Nos. 13 and 17 for a back-nine 32.
Former BYU golfer Clay Ogden is another stroke back in a tie for 20th at 135 after a 67 Friday that included six birdies and two bogeys.
St. George's Jay Don Blake, who plans to join the Champions Tour next year, shot a 67 Friday but missed the cut by one shot at 139.
Other local golfers who missed the cut included Orem's Keith Clearwater (146), Provo's Chris Moody (149), Farmington's Boyd Summerhays (151), Logan's Tim Hennick (154) and Draper's Mark Owen (155)
Utah Championship Leaderboard
Marc Leishman 65-63-128Kyle Thompson 64-65-129Brendon Todd 64-66-130Chris Nallen 66-65-131Blake Adams 67-65--132Bobby Clampett 66-67-133
E-mail: [email protected]