Overton knows rough weather

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VERONA, N.Y. --- Jeff Overton said he felt like he was back in college. He played like it, too.

The former Big Ten Player of the Year at Indiana shot 3-under 69 Friday to take a one-shot lead over Tag Ridings (68) in the blustery second round of the Turning Stone Resort Championship.

Playing through wind, rain and even a brief shower of hail, Overton was at 8-under 136. Two weather delays totaling nearly an hour and a half prevented the entire field from finishing before darkness fell, but Overton's lead was safe.

Among the players still on the course was Steve Allan at 3 under with three holes to play.

In the clubhouse and alone in third at 6 under was Australian rookie Jason Day (69), one shot ahead of Robert Allenby (68), Mark Hensby (69) and Augusta native Charles Howell (68). Dustin Johnson (68), Brad Elder (69), Brian Davis (69), and Kyle Thompson (69) were tied for seventh at 4 under.

Defending Turning Stone champ Steve Flesch (73) finished the two rounds at 3-over 147, good enough to make the projected cut by a shot.

Evans' Vaughn Taylor improved to 69 after opening with 75. Richard Johnson, a former Augusta State player, was even through 14 holes after opening with 76.

Overton, who began the day with a one-shot lead, has held or shared the lead after the opening round only one other time, at the 2007 Reno-Tahoe Open, before he tied for 37th. He showed no signs of faltering here, even in some of the roughest weather on tour this year.

"It reminded me of playing college golf at Indiana," Overton said. "I can remember playing at Ohio State a few years back the golf tournament got snowed out. I've had quite a lot of experience playing in these kinds of conditions."

It showed. Overton reached all 18 in greens in regulation and if he hadn't struggled with his putter -- he needed 34 putts to complete the round -- he would have made it that much more difficult for his rivals to catch him.

After bogeying his first hole, Overton birdied Nos. 4, 8, 9 and reached 8 under after hitting 5-iron to 20 feet at the par-5 12th hole, waiting for the wind to die down, and two-putting for birdie. He felt fortunate because both times play was halted he was lining up a putt.

"Neither one of the delays really bothered me much," Overton said.

The top 125 players on the money list at the end of the season will retain fully exempt status to play on the PGA Tour in 2009.


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