WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.V. – Jeff Overton fired an eight-under 62 on Friday to take four-shot lead midway through The Greenbrier Classic.
Chasing his first PGA Tour win, Overton had eight birdies in a flawless round and finished 36 holes on The Old White Course with a 14-under 126.
He moved past Boo Weekley, who shot a 63 earlier in the day to post a 10-under 130.
First round co-leader Erik Compton, the two-time heart transplant recipient, followed his 63 with a 68 on Friday and slipped into a tie for third place with Jimmy Walker (64) at nine-under 131.
Chris Stroud had a 63 and was tied with Aaron Baddeley (65), Briny Baird (65) and Charles Howell III (67) at eight-under 132, while Jim Furyk (65) led a large group at 133.
Stephen Ames of Calgary was one of two Canadians to make the cut.
Ames was three-under par in the second round and sits in a tie for 27th at five-under. Fellow Canadian Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask. was two shots behind Ames after posting a three-under 67 in round two.
David Morland IV of North Bay, Ont. failed to qualify for the weekend after following an opening-round 73 with an even-par 70.
Overton parred his last four holes after going eight-under through the first 14 to briefly raise the possibility of shooting a 59.
He was the latest among a sudden surge of players who have flirted with carding golf's magic number.
Paul Goydos had the fourth 59 in PGA Tour history on July 8 during the first round of the John Deere Classic. Steve Stricker shot a 60 the same day, nearly holing out for a 59.
Carl Pettersson shot a 60 during the third round of the Canadian Open last Saturday, just missing a long birdie putt at the 18th hole that would have given him a 59.
Overton's bid was all but stopped when he missed an eight-foot birdie putt at No. 6 -- his 15th hole -- to leave him needing birdies on each of his last three holes.
He parred all of them, settling for a career-low score on the PGA Tour.
Overton did most of his damage on the back nine -- his front nine -- by collecting five birdies for a 31.
He made back-to-back birdies at the 11th and 12th, holing an 18-foot putt for the first. But his real charge came with four consecutive birdies around the turn, beginning with a three-foot putt at the 16th.
Overton got up-and-down from a bunker for birdie at the 17th, rolled in a five-footer at the 18th and finished off the run with an approach inside three feet at No. 1, taking a two-shot lead.
Even when things didn't bounce his way, Overton was able to escape trouble. His tee shot at No. 3, a 205-yard par three, hit a sprinkler head and bounced into a greenside bunker. But he blasted out to four feet and saved par.
Overton's last two birdies came at the fourth and fifth, on putts from 12 and five feet.
Overton has never won on tour, but the 27-year-old has knocked on the door several times already this season.
He was runner-up in New Orleans, tied for second place at the Byron Nelson, shared third place at Colonial and took solo third at the AT&T National earlier this month.
Those finishes -- in less than a three-month span -- have helped Overton earn more than $2.4 million this season, placing him 10th on the PGA Tour money list.
NOTES: The cut line fell at two-under 138 and Goydos, David Toms, Kenny Perry and Jeff Maggert are among those who will miss the weekend...Overton's previous career low was a 63 in the first round at Colonial in May...Matt Every, who shared the 18-hole lead with Compton, had a 72 and dropped nine shots back at five-under 135.