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

8/22/2007 - Golf

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."