FINDLEY LAKE, N.Y. - Peek'n Peak has been good to Jeff Gove before, and Gove could use a little more Upper Course mojo this weekend to rejuvenate his career.
The 46-year-old Seattle native has earned more than $2 million on the PGA Tour but hasn't played regularly there since 2010. He holds conditional status on the Web.com Tour after finishing outside the top 75 in 2016, and admits he contemplated his future in golf at the end of last season.
But Gove has found some familiar success this week in western New York, where he stands at 9-under par and right in the mix heading into Saturday.
It's not totally unexpected.
Gove finished second here behind Esteban Toledo in 2005, when it was a Nationwide Tour event known as the Peek'n Peak Classic. Last year he shot 6-under and tied for 51st as prime weekend conditions sent scores plunging.
"I've played well here before, and for me it feels similar to home in Seattle with the same kind of grass and the trees and the hills," Gove said Friday after posting a 4-under 68 to get to 9-under for the tournament, two shots out of the lead.
Gove needed one more birdie during last year's final regular-season Web.com event in Portland to move into the top 75 and get the chance to earn his card. Instead, he's played in only four tournaments before this week, finishing no higher than a tie for 44th at the BMW Charity Pro-Am.
"It's no fun," he said of living week-to-week on the tour. "That's the goal, to get back on tour, and one or two good weeks and you're right there."
Web.com rookie Beau Hossler flirted with 2016 champ Rick Lamb's course record Friday before a bogey on No. 18 tripped him up.
Hossler, 22, turned pro last year and is perhaps best known for finishing tied for 29th at the 2012 U.S. Open at age 17 after holding the outright lead in the second round.
He went to his final hole at 9-under Friday, matching Lamb's score from last year's final round, but his second shot, a 3-wood from the fairway, settled under the bleachers. He took a drop, chipped to the front edge of the green and needed three more shots to hole out for 8-under 64.
"It was a nice round and I made a lot of good putts, and then to see that horror show on the last hole was pretty disappointing," Hossler said. "I feel like I'm in good shape to contend this weekend."
Hossler secured his status on the Web.com Tour for the rest of the season by finishing second three weeks ago at the Air Capital Classic in Wichita. But after twice qualifying for the U.S. Open as an amateur, he said he feels as if he's in no position to relax as he aims to get on the PGA Tour full-time.
"It's nice to know that I can play next week if I want," Hossler said. "But I'm out here trying to win."
Rochester native Dudley Hart, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, made the cut on the number at 3-under with a birdie at No. 18. Hart, 48, has battled injuries throughout his career and was the tour's comeback player of the year in 2008.
John Dudley can be reached at 870-1677 or by email. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/ETNdudley.
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