MADISON, Miss. – Nobody’s in control after two rounds in the Southern Farm Bureau Classic.

John Cook found a groove and first-round leader Bob Tway abruptly lost his Friday, leaving six players tied for the top spot on the Annandale Golf Club course.

“It’s a slaughter waiting to happen,” Cook said.

Cook, an 11-time PGA Tour winner, closed with four straight birdies for a 7-under 65 to tie Tway (70), Kevin Na (68), Tag Ridings (66), Tom Pernice Jr. (68) and Jonathan Byrd (69) at 10-under 134.

It’s the tour’s most players tied for the lead after 36 holes in a PGA Tour event since eight shared the lead in the 2001 Greater Hartford Open.

“It’ll be hard to think Bob or anybody could shoot in the 60s twice and get beat,” Cook said.

The 48-year-old Cook finished his round by making a 35-foot birdie putt at No. 18, drawing cheers from the gallery. He’s seeking his first victory since the 2001 Reno-Tahoe Open. His best finish this year came at the U.S. Open, where he tied for 15th.

Frank Lickliter (65), Loren Roberts (67), Joey Snyder III (68), Bo Van Pelt (69) and Brett Wetterich (67) were 9 under.

Tway began the round leading at 8 under. He was at 11 under by the 18th tee, but ran into trouble when he pulled his second shot into a water hazard. Earlier in the round, he hit his drive at No. 14 into the water and made a double bogey.

“Hitting two shots like that is ridiculous,” Tway said. “I better not do that (Saturday) or I won’t be doing too good.”

Pernice, who has two straight top-10 finishes, started the round two strokes back and shot a steady, bogey-free round that included four birdies.

Byrd kept up his strong play at Annandale. He has finished in the top 10 both times he played Mississippi’s only tour stop, in 2002 and 04.

“I feel good on this golf course,” Byrd said. “I have played well here in the past and I hope to continue to play well.”

Ridings, who also was bogey-free, is feeling much more secure about his future on the PGA Tour after following a third-place tie last week in the Chrysler Championship with two strong rounds at Annandale.

He ranks 101st on the money list with $796,883. Last year, he cut it close by finishing 125th. The top 125 keep their cards the following year.

“It is a stressful situation and really tough on your sleeping habits,” Ridings said. “Hopefully, I can get something good this week, and I can sleep really well all next year.”

Na, who missed three cuts before the Chrysler Championship, had seven birdies and three bogeys.

“After last week, I really felt like my swing was coming through,” Na said.

Among the notables missing the cut at 3 under were two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen (even), David Duval (2 over) and Ryan Palmer (3 over).

Janzen missed the cut for the fourth time in his last five tournaments. Duval, a 13-time winner and 2001 British Open champion, failed to advance at Annandale for the second straight year.

Last year, Palmer was 21 under, second to Fred Funk. Funk didn’t return to Mississippi to defend his title. He’s playing in the Tour Championship in Atlanta.

Five players ranked between 120-135 on the money list missed the cut: Kent Jones (121), Nick Watney (127), Michael Allen (128), Hunter Mahan (129) and J.P. Hayes (135).

AP-ES-11-05-05 0223EST


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