AVONDALE, La., March 28 (UPI) -- Briny Baird
fired a 3-under 69 Friday that pushed him into the lead after two rounds of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Baird turned in a 36-hole total of 8-under 136 at the TPC of Louisiana course, putting him one shot in front of Peter Lonard and Jay Williamson.
Nick Watney, whose lone PGA Tour victory came here last year, shot a 67 to jump into a share of fourth place at 138 with Tommy Armour III and Shigeki Maruyama.
Baird bogeyed the first hole, but then scrambled his way to the top of the leader board in an attempt to win his first tour event. The last three champions of this tournament were first-time winners.
"On the scorecard it's probably going to look like a solid round of golf. It didn't feel quite as good as probably the scorecard will make out," Baird said. "I was very, very pleased. It didn't feel like a 3-under round."
First-round leader Dean Wilson shot a 73 and was tied for seventh place.
Among those missing the cut were the players ranked fourth and fifth in the world -- Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk.
© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.