BETHESDA — — Oliver Goss came to Congressional Country Club earlier this week looking to play in his second PGA Tour event at the Quicken Loans National. As things have transpired for the 20-year-old Australian, the hardest part was getting in the clubhouse door.
"I don't have a PGA Tour credential because I'm not a member and they said, 'No, we can't let you in,'" Goss said Friday. "So I had to walk all the way around and go back in [another entrance] It's no big deal and I have a credential now."
Goss has more than that. If he plays this weekend as he did in the first two rounds, Goss might also have his first win as a pro. With a 4-under par 66 Friday for a two-round total of 6-under par 136, Goss is tied for the lead with fellow Australian Mark Leishman as well as Americans Ricky Barnes and Patrick Reed.
"I didn't really have too many expectations," Goss said. "Obviously I wanted to make the cut. Missing the cut last week [in his PGA Tour debut as a pro at the Travelers Championship in Hartford, Conn.] I was a little bit disappointed. That I'm atop the leaderboard, I couldn't be more pleased."
The runner up in last year's U.S. Amateur, Goss was the only amateur to make the cut at this year's Masters. Goss turned pro after finishing his second year at Tennessee. In his last event as an amateur, Goss missed the cut in the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 after following an opening round 71 with an 83.
Asked what the biggest adjustment was in playing on the PGA Tour, Goss said, "The main difference is you're playing against the best in the world. The depth is just crazy. Obviously you're playing for a purse, and honestly I don't feel much different out there. You're still playing the game of golf."
Rose in hunt
Former U.S. Open champion Justin Rose of England, who won this tournament (formerly called the AT&T National) four years ago when it was played at Aronimink outside Philadelphia, put himself back in contention with a 6-under par 65. He is at 3-under par 139, three strokes off the lead.
With tournament host Tiger Woods missing the cut and other big names such as Jordan Spieth far off the lead, Rose said "it is wide open." Rose, who finished early, said that as the wind picked up in the afternoon, "I don't see anybody stretching it out too much. I think I'll be right there or thereabouts."
Considering Rose's success in winning the Open last year at Merion, the 33-year-old believes he can have a similar result at a venue that has hosted three U.S. Opens, most recently in 2011. He said he is also motivated by the sight of the Claret Jug, the trophy for the British Open that was brought here this week.
"I couldn't help but [lust] at the [British] Open Championship trophy as I walked to the scorer's tent here," Rose said. "I'm obviously here to play well this week, but the Open is definitely on my mind. I felt like I had a slightly slower start to the year that I would have liked, but I'm running into some form."
After missing the cut in the Memorial Tournament, Rose finished tied for 12th at Pinehurst No. 2 in defense of his U.S. Open title.
"So hopefully, I'm trending in the right direction," he said.
Former Navy star Billy Hurley III is six shots behind at even par 142 after shooting 2-over par 73 ... Woods was not the only big name to miss the cut. Others who will not be playing on the weekend include several former major champions: among them, Ernie Els, who won the U.S. Open when it was played at Congressional in 1997, as well as Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, V.J. Singh and Y.E. Yang.