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Niebrugge tied for Western Amateur lead

ROLAND, Ark. (AP) - U.S. Public Links champion Jordan Niebrugge shot a 3-under 69 on Wednesday for a share of the lead in the suspended second round of the 111th Western Amateur.

Stanford's Patrick Rodgers and Georgia Tech left-hander Seth Reeves matched Niebrugge, an Oklahoma State sophomore, at 9-under 135 at The Alotian Club. Rodgers had a 68, and Reeves shot 70.

Niebrugge, from Mequon, Wis., is trying to win for the third straight week after followed his Public Links victory with a win last week in the Wisconsin State Amateur. He hasn't missed a fairway or green in the first two rounds.

``If I hit the ball like this every day, it's going to be hard to shoot a bad score,'' Niebrugge said. ``I couldn't have hit the ball any better. I've hit 36 straight greens. It's just me hitting bad putts, and uncertainty. The greens are tough to read.''

Play was suspended because of darkness after thunderstorms caused two delays.

After the completion of the round, the field will be cut to the low 44 and ties for the final two rounds of stroke play. The final low 16 will advance to match play.

Reeves, the Southeastern Amateur winner, played his second nine in 2 over.

``I could have had a low one, but it's golf, and golf's hard sometimes,'' Reeves said. ``Sometimes it'll humble you. So, I'll just be happy and get excited about the good golf I've played.''

Rodgers is a former Western Junior champion.

``The last two days I've done a really good job mentally,'' Rodgers said. ``I made just two bogeys the first two days, so I think that's a testament to playing smart and controlling my golf ball well.

``The greens are so good you feel you can make everything. Even yesterday, I was so impressed, with 130 people having walked in front of me during my last nine holes, how great the greens were. It's just in such impeccable condition. It's just a blast to play out there.''

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