-- Frank Lickliter II, in the midst of a major makeover of his swing, shot a 9-under-par 63 today to take a three-shot lead halfway through the Chrysler Classic.
Lickliter, who started today's second round three strokes out of the lead, was at 14-under 130 through 36 holes, two off the tournament record of 128 set by David Duval in 1999.
"I'm driving extremely well right now," Lickliter said. "It's allowed me to hit it at the pin, and I'm making the putts."
After playing the back nine first and making the turn at 9 under for the tournament, Lickliter shot a 5-under 31 on the front nine. He had consecutive birdies on the second, third, fourth and fifth holes, then chipped in from 25 feet for an eagle on the par-5, 528-yard eighth hole to go to 15 under.
Lickliter would have matched his career-best round of 62 had he not driven the ball into the water and bogeyed the ninth, his final hole.
"It's up there," he said when asked whether this was his best day of golf. "If I hadn't made bogey on that last hole, it definitely would have been."
Brian Gay, who was tied with Lickliter when the day began, shot a 6-under 66 and was alone in second at 11-under 133.
Todd Barranger, Brandel Chamblee and Arron Oberholser were at 8-under 136. Barranger shot 64, Chamblee 65 and Oberholser 66 today.
First-round leader Dicky Pride struggled to a 72 and was in a group of 10 at 7-under 137.
Conditions again were chilly, wet and sometimes windy on the par-72, 7,109-yard course at the Omni Tucson National Resort and Spa. Rain fell off and on throughout the mostly overcast day.
Gay is no fan of cold, wet weather, but some of his best golf came after the wind kicked up and the rain resumed.
"I had it going," he said. "The rain came and it got colder, and I was able to keep it going."
John E. Morgan matched Lickliter's 63 today but shot a 77 Thursday and was at 4-under 140.
Lickliter, 33, won the Kemper Open in 2001 -- his lone PGA Tour victory -- but began an overhaul of his game with Coach Randy Sinioer 18 months ago because he felt it was the only way he could consistently challenge the best.
Previously, Lickliter's game was strictly low liners right-to-left, and he struggled mightily on courses and pin placements that required any other kind of approach. Now his drives can sail high into the air, and they were usually right where they needed to be today.
"It's very satisfying," Lickliter said in the interview room after his round. "It will be more satisfying if I'm here Sunday afternoon."
Lickliter's coach tells him he's about halfway through completion of his new approach.
"My goal is to give a certain person a run for his money," he said, referring to Tiger Woods.