After a 63 on Thursday, Erik Barnes of Kalamazoo, Mich., battled windy conditions and a few nerves in the second round on Friday to grind out a one-under 70 to take a two-stroke lead at the Players Cup in Winnipeg.
Barnes is two shots clear of four players, including Matt Hill of Sarnia, Ont., Brock Mackenzie of Yakima, Wash., Drew Stoltz of Little Rock, Ark., and Josh Persons of Fargo, N.D.
Barnes admitted that he will feel pressure on the weekend, but adds he is ready to accept the challenge of being the frontrunner.
“We all know what’s a stake and we all want it really badly. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be playing,” said Barnes. “The guy that’s going to get it done is the guy who deals with it the best, and hopefully that will be me.”
Hill, who finished tied for eighth here in 2012 when he won the Order of Merit on PGA Tour Canada, had a three-under 68 to join a group tied for second heading into the weekend.
“I think I hit it a little bit better today, but played pretty similar. I just kind of stuck to my game plan. I’m just going to try to keep doing what I’m doing,” said Hill.
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