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Steve Wheatcroft, Monday qualifier, takes lead into the weekend at Houston

Steve Wheatcroft hates going to Monday qualifiers. He was reminded Friday why they can be worth it.

Wheatcroft ran off three straight birdies early in his round and kept bogeys off his card for a second straight 5-under 67. That gave him a one-shot lead over D.A. Points and Jason Kokrak going into the weekend at the Houston Open.

Rory McIlroy also will be around, but just barely. He two-putted from 85 feet on the fringe on his 17th hole for a birdie that gave him a 70. McIlroy made the cut on the number, though he goes into the weekend nine shots out of the lead.

Phil Mickelson recovered from a bad spot and also made the cut on the number.