By Larry Fine
JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (Reuters) - Keegan Bradley was on his way to turning a winless year into a great season after catching fire on Friday for a course-record 63 at Liberty National in the second round of The Barclays.
Bradley, the 2011 PGA Championship winner, made four birdies on each side of the layout perched on the edge of New York harbour in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty to move within two strokes of clubhouse leader Webb Simpson.
Despite failing to reach the winner's circle, Bradley has shown consistently good form in posting seven top-10 finishes.
"It's disappointing that I haven't won, but I've made over $3 million, I'm top 10 in the FedExCup. I've had seven top 10s, which is the most I've ever had. It's kind of a weird year.
"I've had two seconds and a third," he said. "I've been right there.
"So if I could get a win, this would probably be my most consistent year. So it's right there on the edge of being a super good year."
The New Englander made his charge spurred on after making a double-bogey at the par-four 18th hole on his 12th hole early Friday morning in finishing his weather-delayed opening round.
"I hit a ball out‑of‑bounds on the last hole this morning, and it was just brutal and decided that I was going to prove to myself that that wasn't how I'm going to end this tournament," said Bradley.
"So I decided to go out and just let it go, and I really seemed to play well on that second 18."
What made it all extra special for Bradley was his fondness for the course. He told co-designer Tom Kite by the practice range earlier in the week how much he liked the layout.
"This golf course is unbelievable," Bradley, 27, said. "It's really, really awesome. This is such an amazing course to have a course record on. I'm really honored. I hope it holds up."
Birdies were coming in bunches on the rain-softened course on Friday, but regardless of how well the late second-round starters play Bradley placed himself in good position to challenge.
"I'm right there going into the weekend," he said. "If someone goes super low, I'm still going to be within four or five shots, so I really like my chances around this golf course."
(Reporting by Larry Fine, Editing by Ian Ransom)