(Reuters) - Greg Chalmers eased into position for a long-awaited first PGA Tour win on Friday after moving to the top of the leader board at the midway point of the Barracuda Championship in Reno, Nevada.
Chalmers rattled off five birdies on his back nine to score 10 points for the day and finish the second round with 24 and a two-point lead over Gary Woodland and Martin Laird.
The event is using the modified Stableford scoring system, which awards players eight points for double eagle, five for eagle, two for birdie, none for par, minus-one for bogey and minus-three for double bogey or worse.
Australian Chalmers, who has yet to win on the PGA Tour in 385 starts, said staying patient was key.
“Tenacity is important. There is no point in panicking, you just see if (the birdies) are going to come,” said Chalmers, whose last victory came at the 2014 Australian PGA Championship. “I’ve been putting nicely, which helps a lot.”
Laird, the first round leader on 15 points, pushed his total to 25 before three bogeys in his final nine holes dropped him two behind the leader.
Woodland, who won this tournament in 2013, had an up-and-down day that netted him eight points and kept him in the hunt.
“I’m comfortable on this golf course, I was just a little off today,” Woodland said. “Hopefully I got that one out of the way and am ready for a big weekend.”
Colt Knost (21 points) and Brendan Steele (20 points) are also in the hunt for the title.
Zac Blair was cruising along on 15 points before reaching the par-4 12th hole, where he tried three chip shots from close to the green but after whiffing on the first and barely moving the ball two feet in all he picked up for a double bogey. He finished the day on 11 points.
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)