Ted Soule fired a 7-under-par 65 Friday to jump ahead of college roommate J.J. Henry and lead the $450,000 BUY.COM Monterrey Open. Soule stands at 11-under-par 133, one shot ahead of Henry (66) and Dave Barr (68). Tim Clark (67), Tripp Isenhour (66), Briny Baird (69) and Kevin Johnson (68) are two shots back, while Eric Rustand (70) and Danny Briggs (69) trail by four.
Soule has made the most of squeaking into the tournament as the 14th and last Monday qualifier. To earn the final spot, Soule had to fight his way through a 10-player, 11-hole playoff that carried over to Tuesday morning. Soule made the turn at 7 under before seeing Henry, who was at 10 under, playing the eighth tee. Soule pointed to Henry, indicating he thought he would be playing with him in the final group Saturday. Henry had a chance to match his career-best 63, which he set during the second round of last year's event, but he found both the rough and a bunker on the eighth hole. What helped Henry was a birdie on his first hole and an eagle on No. 18.
Opportunities were there for Dave Barr, but he could not make the most of them. The key for Barr through the first two rounds has been finding the greens, which he has done with great success. Clark fought his way back into contention after a double bogey on the 13th hole, his fourth hole of the day.
Tripp Isenhour continues to be one of the hottest golfers on the Buy.Com Tour this month. He won the Mississippi Gulf Coast Open two weeks ago, and he fired a 6-under-par 66 on Friday to put himself in contention to become the first golfer to win back-to-back events since Chris Smith in July 1997
"I'm excited I'm playing well," said Isenhour. "You are always trying to win. Hopefully, I keep it up, but a lot of strange things can happen. As long as I can control the things that I can control, if somebody beats me, that's fine."