Luck, who began the day on the back nine, started his round with a birdie on the par-4 10th but immediately dropped a shot on No. 11. Despite the bogey, the 24-year-old took advantage of the par-5 12th with an eagle to reach 5-under for the week. The up-and-down afternoon continued for Luck who offset a bogey on the par-3 13th with a birdie on No. 15.
After making the turn at 5-under for the tournament, Luck carded his third birdie of the day on the par-4 second. After a par on No. 3, he tallied another birdie on the par-5 fourth but immediately gave the stroke back with a bogey on No. 5.
After his fifth birdie of the round on No. 7, Luck moved back to 7-under for the week. On the par-4 ninth, he stuck his approach from the right rough and drained the 5-foot birdie putt to take the solo-lead at 8-under.
“Yeah, it was a bit of an up?and?down day,” Luck said after the round. “I kind of got off to a weird start, had a couple of bogeys amongst a birdie and an eagle, but it was kind of a little bit like that all day. I just managed to settle myself down and just play some good golf.”
Luck has made four cuts in 11 starts this season on the Korn Ferry Tour and entered the week ranked 135th on the points list. Despite missing the cut in his last three starts, the Australian returned to The Ohio State University Golf Club’s Scarlet Course with past success to draw on. In his last three starts at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, he has finished T7-T5-T19 and has recorded his best result of the season in Ohio two of the last three years.
“I guess it kind of replicates Australia a little bit,” he said of the Scarlet Course. “They’re (the greens) also bent, so it’s a lot like home. But yeah, I don’t know, it just sets up for me. As I said, I play as smart as I can for the most part and just try and leave the ball in areas where I know I’ve always got a shot.”
After a bogey-free 66 on Thursday, Young tallied four birdies against two bogeys on Friday to claim solo-second at 7-under 135. The Wake Forest University product is making just his fourth career Korn Ferry Tour start this week.
Three weeks ago, Young made his Korn Ferry Tour debut at the Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna after Monday qualifying and finished the week T11. With his strong play, he earned a spot in the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by KraftHeinz where he finished T14.
At last week’s Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco, his strong play continued. Highlighted by a third-round 61, Young earned his best Korn Ferry Tour finish with a T6 result in Idaho. Now, the 23-year-old has put himself in position to capture one of the five 2020 U.S. Open exemptions awarded at the conclusion of the Korn Ferry Tour Championship Series.
“It’s been a huge step in the right direction,” Young said of his recent play. “I was playing well, and I had every reason to believe I could get in and play well. It’s just fortunate to be playing well at this time to keep myself in it.”
Erik Barnes, Lee Hodges, Jimmy Stanger and Brandon Wu sit T3 at 6-under 136.
Third-round tee times will run from 7:04 a.m. to 1:10 p.m. EDT on Saturday. The tournament will be broadcast live on Golf Channel from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday.
* Friday’s weather: Partly cloudy, with a high of 86. Wind E at 4-8 mph.
* The cut came at 1-over with 75 players advancing to the weekend.
* This week’s purse is $1,000,000 with $180,000 going to the champion. The champion will also receive 600 Korn Ferry Tour points.
* This marks the first time that Curtis Luck has held the lead after any round on the Korn Ferry Tour.
* During the 2018-19 PGA TOUR season, Luck made 10 cuts in 23 starts on TOUR with three top-25s.
* Three of the 16 36-hole leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win this season. Stephan Jaeger won at last week’s Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco after holding a share of the second-round lead.
* Through two rounds, Cameron Young ranks first in scrambling, converting nine of 10 up-and-downs.
* Since the Tour’s return to golf, Erik Barnes (T3, -6) has recorded four top-25s and has missed only one cut.
* Brandon Wu (T3, -6) is making only his fifth Korn Ferry Tour start of the season this week. In his four previous starts, the 23-year-old has recorded two top-10s.
* Nick Hardy, who co-led after Thursday’s opening round, sits T16 at 3-under 139 after a 3-over 74 on Friday.
* In his first competitive event since his daughter Mia’s passing, Camilo Villegas sits T29 at 1-under 141 after two rounds.
* The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship serves as the third event of the four-event Korn Ferry Tour Championship Series, which includes elevated purses and points. Five exemptions into the 2020 U.S. Open are also available to the top-five players (not otherwise exempt) in a points list specific to the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco, Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship and Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance. The top-10 players on the Korn Ferry Tour’s overall point standings following the conclusion of the Korn Ferry Tour Championship will also earn entry into the PGA TOUR’s additional events (also known as opposite-field events) during the 2020-21 season.
* The combined 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour schedule will conclude with 25 PGA TOUR cards awarded at the 2021 WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by KraftHeinz, with an additional 25 cards awarded at the conclusion of the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Finals.
* The par-3 13th hole (221 yards) played as the hardest hole on Friday with a scoring average of 3.257.
* The par-5 12th hole (562 yards) played as the easiest hole on Friday with a scoring average of 4.542.
*The Ohio State University Golf Club – Scarlet Course Scoring Average:
Front Back Total Cumulative
R1 36.285 35.688 71.972
R2 36.167 35.333 71.500 71.736
For highlights from today’s round, or any 2019 event visit http://bit.ly/kornferry2019video