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Texan J.J. Killeen Still Tied for Lead In Nationwide Tour Midwest Classic

Former TCU golfer J.J. Killeen has won two of his last three Nationwide Tour events. If he were to win this weekend in Kansas City at the Nationwide Midwest Classic, he would earn an immediate promotion to the PGA Tour.

Chris Thompson
Chris Thompson

J.J. Killeen and James Nitties swapped scores from Days 1 and 2 in the Nationwide Tour Midwest Classic at the Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate in Overland Park and move into the final two rounds tied for the lead.

Killeen was tied for the lead with Brian Vranesch after the opening round, both shooting a red-hot eight-under-par 63 on the first day. For Vranesch, it was a career-best round on the professional tour.

In round two on Friday, Nitties matched the opening-round 63 of Killeen and Vranesch to go with the Australian's six-under 65 on Thursday. Meanwhile, Killeen rallied over the back nine on Friday to finish with three birdies over the final six holes and a six-under 65 for the round, resulting in the tie at the top.

Vranesch fell off slightly coming in with a round of 67 on Friday, leaving him in third place on the leaderboard, two shots off the lead heading into weekend play. There is a five-way tie for fourth at 131.

The 29-year-old Killeen, who played collegiate golf at TCU in Fort Worth, is seeking his third win in four weeks on the Nationwide Tour. A win at this tournament would earn him an immediate promotion to the PGA Tour.

"I really have played well the whole year, Killeen said. "It's just that right now all parts of my game are really sharp."

"Numbers-wise, this course just falls into what we've been seeing the last four weeks," said Chris Thompson, one of the five golfers tied for fourth after two rounds. "You've got to pick a good game plan for the golf course, and there you have to select the pins you want to go at. I like the way the course sets up for a driver."

Seventy-three players made the weekend cut, which was at five-under-par 137.