By Bill Cooney, PGATOUR.COM
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Bud
Cauley didn’t hit his irons as well as he did the previous
day at The McGladrey Classic. But he made enough putts and par
saves for a second-round, even-par 70 that gave him the early lead
at 8-under 132 on Friday at Sea Island Golf Club. Cauley took a
one-shot lead over Michael Thompson (68), Brian Gay (68), D.J.
Trahan (67) and Chad Campbell (67). He hit the same number of
greens (14) as he did in a Round 1 62, but had 33 putts instead of
the 24 he needed on Thursday. "I had a few nice up and downs out
there and left two putts throughout the 4- or 5-footers for par,"
Cauley said. "So I'm happy. I would have loved to have shot under
par. But even is not too bad, and I'm going to work on the irons a
little bit and hopefully I'll be close tomorrow." Thompson, who
tied for second at the U.S. Open, held the lead at 9 under until he
four-putted the par-3 17th for a double-bogey 5. Thompson
three-putted from 3 feet. “Just a little bit of
nerves,” Thompson said. “It’s been since the U.S.
Open since I’ve been in contention. But then again on these
Bermuda greens the rules officials tend to cut the holes right
where the grain changes. That always makes it difficult.”
“It’s just unfortunate,” Thompson added.
“But at the same time I’m right where I need to
be.” Cauley finished T15 here last season, picking up enough
money to earn non-member status for 2012. He became one of the few
players to go right from college to the PGA TOUR without having to
go to q-school. He’s had six top 10s and nine top 25s in
2012. And Cauley is excited about the possibility of winning for
the first time on the PGA TOUR this weekend. "Yeah. It's going to
be a lot of fun," Cauley said. Still half the tournament left, but
I'm hitting the ball well and I'm seeing the lines on the greens
really well, too. So if I can just get a little bit closer, I think
I'll do a little bit better."