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Sleep-deprived Justin Lower set for good weekend despite early double

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A low round is a tough act to follow, especially when it’s the first round, and there is nowhere to go but up.

Justin Lower knows this, so he wasn’t necessarily surprised when he followed his opening 9-under 63 with a 1-under 71 at the Fortinet Championship on Friday.

“It's always hard to follow up that very low round with another good round or even [lower] round, but I'll take 1 under today,” Lower said at Silverado Resort. “Could it have been better? Yes, but it definitely could have been worse as well.”

Full-field scores from the Fortinet Championship

Considering that 71 included two bogeys and a double bogey, it definitely could’ve been worse. Lower recovered from his three flubs with five birdies, including three peppered across the back nine, and entered the clubhouse still in the mix at a 10 under total.

Lower is hoping the two rounds under his belt will lead to a more comfortable and consistent performance this weekend, even if the weather might mix things up a bit; cooler, sunny weather Saturday is expected to give way to cold rain on Sunday.

“It doesn't matter how hard it is, what the conditions are, someone figures it out every day, so hopefully you can be that someone or be close to that,” the 33-year-old said.

Another factor that could contribute to Lower’s performance this weekend? Sleep.

“I've never slept on a lead, I guess, so I slept OK last night. I didn't sleep great,” Lower admitted.

So maybe the rollercoaster round was just what the Malone University alum needed, making him chase the leaders in the quest for his first Tour win.