Stricker shines again heading into weekend at U.S. Senior Open

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South Bend (IN) -- We are now halfway through the U.S. Senior Open. The field has been cut down, and the path to he championship is getting clearer.

There was a bear sighting out on the course this morning - the Golden Bear - Jack Nicklaus, who was out supporting his son Gary, who shot a 71 (+1) to drop him to -1 halfway through the tournament.

The Nicklaus patriarch wasn't the only one out there supporting Gary, the whole family was, including his son G.T., who's caddying for Gary.

"We've got all kinds of people here," Nicklaus said. "My mom, my dad, my son, my daughter, my girlfriend, friends, my business partner and his family, so we've got a good group here, we're having a good time. Never been to Notre Dame before, it's an amazing campus and glad I got to see it. It's amazing, it's fun."

David Toms was the big story on Thursday with a historic performance in the first round that tied a U.S. Senior Open record with a 62 (-8). He followed that up with another solid round, shooting -3 to get him to -11 overall, good for third place.

Jerry Kelly is in second place through two rounds. He sits at -12 after breaking the U.S. Senior Open 36-hole scoring record. That would be impressive, if Steve Stricker hadn't broken it by even more.

Stricker also tied a U.S. Senior Open record with a 62 in the first round, and he followed that up with a bogey-free 64 (-6) to head into the weekend with a two-stroke lead at -14.

"You know it was solid," Stricker said. "Both days were really solid. Drove the ball well, hit a lot of good iron shots, and starting to make some putts which is fun to see. So yea, it was a good two days, solid two days."

It wasn't a good day for either of the two local golfers playing in the tournament. Peru, In. native Chris Smith shot even par Friday but finished +6 for the tournament, and Clay High School grad Tony Soerries was +2 on the day to finish +8. Both missed the cut.

The third round continues Saturday from Warren Golf Course. The first tee time is at 10:06am, while the leaders, Stricker and Kelly, will tee off at 3:25pm.