Kokrak holds lead as darkness delays field at U.S. Amateur

Updated: August 22, 2007, 12:37 AM ET
Associated Press

DALY CITY, Calif. -- Jason Kokrak's 3-under 137 topped the two-day leaderboard at the U.S. Amateur on Tuesday, though dozens of players had yet to complete all 36 holes before darkness halted stroke play.

If Kokrak's score remains the best of the first two days, he will become the top seed among 64 qualifiers for the match-play portion of the tournament set to begin Wednesday. Because of a four-hour delay due to fog on Monday, the tournament has been behind schedule, stranding 54 players on the course late Tuesday.

Though the jockeying for the lead was competitive, the fight to make the final 64 at all promises at least as much drama. A tie for the last spot, which is typical, will force a playoff to determine which players move on.

When darkness fell, 48 golfers were 6 over or better through 36 holes, while 17 others were 6 over or better though 27 holes. Sixty-three golfers went to the clubhouse at 7 over, and another 20 golfers were 7 over or better through 27 holes.

Kokrak, who didn't finish his first round Monday night, played 25 holes Tuesday. He credited his 3-under overall score to control off the tee. "I'm hitting a three-iron on almost every hole," he said. "If you're not hitting the fairway, it's tough."

Alex Prugh, a quarterfinalist at last year's U.S. Amateur, posted a 2 under after 36 holes, shooting a tourney-best 66 on the slightly easier Ocean Course on Tuesday. David Merkow was also at 138 after back-to-back 69s.

Derek Fathauer was 2 under through 27 holes, while his twin Daryl was on the bubble for the match-play portion at 6 over through 27 holes.

Trevor Murphy, a Junior Olympic skier, was the only other player under par after two complete rounds, with a 1-under 139.

The stroke play totals do not carry over to match play.

"There are two tournaments this week," Merkow said. "Anybody who's in the top 64 can win. It starts over tomorrow."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press