Leave it to a certified public accountant to crunch the numbers better than anybody else in the PowerBilt Kentucky Open golf championship at Lexington Country Club.
While most people discounted the chances of anybody going deep into red numbers during Wednesday's second round, Owensboro CPA Andy Roberts disagreed.
"You always expect somebody to shoot low," he said.
Roberts, a 30-year-old amateur, was that somebody. He had eight birdies and carded a 6-under-par 66 to go with a first-day 71. His 137 total gives him a four-shot lead going into Thursday's last round.
His closest pursuers are pros Brandon Brown (71-70—141) and Patrick Vadden (69-72—141).
Ben Fuqua, who finished his college career at Kentucky this spring, is next (70-72—142), five shots back.
While just about everybody else was in survival mode in Wednesday's hot, breezy weather, and on the firm, fast greens, Roberts thrived.
He said he didn't have a low number in mind when he started the day. "I was just trying to break par, but you never try to limit yourself if you're hitting it close."
Roberts had everything working. He was driving it straight, hitting accurate irons and wielding a hot putter.
He birdied the first, fifth, seventh, ninth, 11th, 13th, 14th and 17th. He lipped out a 3-footer for birdie on the last hole that would've given him a 65.
Roberts, who had a top-five finish in the Kentucky Open a few years ago, said he'll take the pressure of being the front-runner Thursday.
"Why not?" he said. "I'm not worried about it. I'm going to work Friday morning if I win or not."
If Roberts stumbles, there are challengers capable of passing him.
Brown, a 28-year-old pro from Shelbyville, has had a good summer, including a pair of top-10 finishes on the Hooters Tour.
He showed his grit Wednesday. After taking a double bogey on his next-to-last hole (he started on the back nine), he finished with a birdie on the last hole.
"I needed that," he said.
Vadden, a 36-year-old pro in Louisville, has surprised himself with his play this week. "I didn't think I'd be this close," he said. "The greens are too fast for me."
Matt Savage, who won this tournament last year and in 2006, is six shots out of the lead after carding nine birdies and eight bogeys over the first two days.
"Just sloppy," he said.
A couple of college golfers — Louisville senior Karsten Clements and UK sophomore Cody Martin — are tied with Savage at 143.
Former UK golfer Jordan Blann, who won the State Amateur in June, probably shot himself out of contention with a second-round 78, which left him at 147.