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Relaxed Reifers climbing leader board at Chiquita Classic

Now that he’s earned his PGA Tour card for next year, Kyle Reifers is enjoying playing a golf tournament close to home.

The results are showing up on the scoreboard, as Reifers shot his second sub-70 round at River Run Country Club on Friday and move within striking range of the leaders in the Chiquita Classic.

Reifers, a Wake Forest grad who now lives on Lake Norman near Mooresville, shot a 4-under-par 68 Friday to put him at 9-under 135 in the Web.com Tour Finals event, three shots behind second-day leader Derek Fathauer.

“Now that I’ve got my tour card, I’m going to have fun these next four weeks,” said Reifers, who finished 25th in earnings during the Web.com Tour’s regular season to earn his PGA Tour card.

“Plus, this is like a home game for me. I get to sleep in my own bed at night, which is nice. These two weeks in a row are going to be nice – my family still lives in Columbus (Ohio, where the next event will be played), so I’ll stay with my Dad up there.”

Reifers made seven birdies during Friday’s second round, but also had three bogeys – on No. 9, No. 15 and No. 17 – that kept him from climbing higher up the leader board.

“It was a disappointing way to finish a round, but I’m happy with where I’m at,” said Reifers, who had a 5-under 67 on Thursday. “I’ve left a few out there, but I’ve played pretty solid the last two days. I like what I’m doing, and hopefully I can take that into the weekend.”

Fathauer shot 6-under 66 for the second consecutive day to take the lead at 12-under 132. He holds a two-shot lead over Australia’s Derek Chalmers (65), Scott Pinckney (68) and Brett Stegmaier (66), all tied at 10-under 134.

Reifers was among three players at 9-under, joining John Peterson (70) and first-round leader Adam Hadwin, who went from a tournament record 9-under 63 Thursday to an even-par 72 Friday.

Big turnaround : Statesville native Tom Hoge had the Chiquita Classic’s biggest two-day turnaround, tying the tournament record with a 9-under 63 Friday after shooting 1-over 73 on Thursday.

The 10-stroke turnaround left Hoge at 8-under 136 over the first two rounds, well above the cut line and in contention for his first Web.com Tour win over the final two days.

Going home: With the cut line for this weekend’s Chiquita Classic at 1-under, 54 players – including 13 with PGA Tour wins – won’t be in the field for the final two rounds.

Among those missing the cut were 2003 British Open winner Ben Curtis, and PGA Tour winners Jonathan Byrd, Chad Campbell, Joe Durant, J.J. Henry, Tim Herron, Ryuji Imada, Troy Matteson, Sean O’Hair, Rod Pampling, Dickie Pride.

In addition, both 2008 Masters champion Trevor Immelman of South Africa and former PGA Tour winner Tim Petrovic withdrew before the start of Friday’s round.

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