J.J. Killeen had a hiccup last week at the Price Cutter Charity Championship, but he's not letting the big picture get in the way this week.
Killeen, who can earn an automatic promotion to the PGA Tour with a win at the Midwest Classic, fired a six-under 65 on Friday to maintain a share of the lead after 36 holes at Nicklaus Golf Club.
The 29-year-old came out of nowhere to win two of his last three events, with three in a season earning the aforementioned promotion. He had a chance last week, but missed the cut for the first time in nine events.
Was it nerves? Maybe. Needless to say, the nerves aren't there anymore.
At 14-under 128, Killeen shares the lead with James Nitties, whose eight-under 63 on Friday put him in line for his first Nationwide Tour title. Although he's in first, he's still flying under the radar beneath the hottest player on tour.
The pair are two clear of the rest of the field, as Brian Vranesh's four-under 67 has him in third at minus-12.
While Killeen is atop the leaderboard, the best round of the day belonged to Scott Dunlap, who annihilated the course record with an 11-under 60. He went into the 17th hole needing two final birdies to get into the 50s, but a par on No. 17 left him with little hope.
He didn't eagle the 18th, instead settling for birdie to beat the old course record of 63, set by three different players.
Dunlap, who shot only even-par 71 on Thursday, shares fourth at 11-under with Nick Flanagan (63), Troy Kelly (64), Jason Kokrak (66) and Chris Thompson (67).
MORE TO FOLLOW.