Atlanta: FedExCup points leader Chris Kirk has, for the most part, been happy to fly under the radar during his four full seasons on the PGA Tour but says he has relished being in the spotlight the past three weeks.
The 29-year-old American clinched his second victory of the season earlier this month to vault to the top of the playoff standings and he maintained that position by tying for 36th at the BMW Championship outside Denver on Sunday.
One of just five players at this week`s Tour Championship who is automatically guaranteed the overall playoff prize by winning the tournament, Kirk remained in contention for both honours by shooting a two-under 68 in Friday`s second round.
"I enjoy where I`ve been the last few years, being kind of under the radar and not having to worry about too much pressure or expectations on myself," Kirk told reporters after posting a six-under total of 134 on a humid day at East Lake Golf Club.
"I`m able to just sort of go about my business. Nobody really bothers me, which has been very nice, but you can`t live under a rock forever.
"I would love to play like this and be in the spotlight more often just because it`s from my good play. I`m not going to run around and do fist pumps or anything like that, but if you play well, you`re going to get noticed for sure."
Atlanta native Kirk began the second round at East Lake tied for the lead and briefly surged a stroke in front after a storming run of four consecutive birdies from the par-four seventh before he slipped back over the closing stretch.
"I definitely hit a few more loose shots than I did yesterday and a couple of three-putts too," Kirk said after mixing six birdies with two bogeys. "But a nice stretch there in the middle of my round ... sort of kept me in it.
"It`s really, really hot this week, and this is my 28th event of the season. I think that`s what I`m battling a little bit, just mental fatigue and being just a little bit worn out."
Kirk, who has recorded three career wins on the PGA Tour, will go into Saturday`s third round in a three-way tie for second place, just two strokes behind leader and fellow American Billy Horschel.
Any of the top five in the points standings would clinch the FedExCup by winning the Tour Championship. They are: top-ranked Kirk, Horschel (second), Bubba Watson (third), Rory McIlroy (fourth) and Hunter Mahan (fifth).