Qualifier Dickinson maintains lead in South Georgia Classic

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April 13, 2007
By Chris Reimer PGA TOUR Staff

VALDOSTA, Ga. -- Friday the 13th proved to be a good day for Monday qualifier Paul Dickinson who shot a second-round 1-under-par 71 to move to 9 under par with a one-stroke lead over Steve Bowditch halfway through the inaugural $600,000 South Georgia Classic.

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INSIDE THE NUMBERS
PAUL DICKINSON THRU 36 HOLES
Stat Rd. 1 Rd. 2 Total Rank
Eagles 0 0 0 N/A
Birdies 8 2 10 T3
Pars 10 14 24 T51
Bogeys 0 1 1 T155
Double Bogeys 0 0 0 N/A
Other 0 0 0 N/A
Driving Accuracy 79% 85% 81.5% 25
Driving Distance 274.5 yds. 300.5 yds. 287.5 yds. 122
Greens in Regulation 83% 88% 85.7% 1
Putts per Round 25 31 28.0 T17
Putts per GIR 1.467 1.933 1.700 17
Sand Saves 100% N/A 100.0% T1

Building on a first-round 8-under-par 64, the 30-year-old native of Long Island, N.Y., continued his steady play with one bogey, two birdies and 15 pars on Friday at the sixth of 32 events on the 2007 Nationwide Tour schedule.

"I played solid and hit the ball well. I basically played the same as I did yesterday," Dickinson said. "I just couldn't get the ball to the hole on the greens. The pace seemed a hair slower. I couldn't make as many putts as I did yesterday."

Dickinson, a former golf standout at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, gave up the game last spring after struggling for a few years on the mini-tours and worked as an insurance salesman. Six months later, he joined the NGA Hooters Tour Winter Series to give the game one more try.

In the final group on Friday, Dickinson was reminded that he would have been home or at happy hour had he kept his insurance job instead of finishing his day at 8:00 p.m. when he signed his scorecard.

"Yeah, but I'd be miserable," Dickinson said. "I enjoy playing golf much more, that's for sure."

Bowditch shot a bogey-free 5-under-par 67 to move into second, one shot off the lead. After a first round that included seven birdies and four bogeys, the 23-year-old Australian steadied his play on Friday in a round that was highlighted by the only eagle recorded so far on Kinderlou Forest's 580-yard par 5 14th hole.

"I hit my drive really well and had about 270 yards in," Bowditch said. "I hit one of the best 3-woods of my life to about four feet and made the putt."

Bowditch is no stranger to being in contention after two rounds on the Nationwide Tour. He held the 36-hole lead and went on to win the 2005 Jacob's Creek Open. He was also in second after the halfway point at the 2005 ING New Zealand PGA Championship where he finished third and at the 2005 Price Cutter Charity Championship.

In a field that includes 35 former PGA TOUR winners, seven-time PGA TOUR winner John Huston and John Kimbell sit three strokes back of the lead at 6 under par. Huston's last PGA TOUR victory came at the 2003 Southern Farm Bureau Classic.

Kimbell is familiar with Kinderlou Forest, having won here at the 2006 Langdale Ford Championship on the NGA Hooters Tour.

"I love this place. I've played three Hooters Tour events and then advanced through TOUR school here as well," Kimbell said. "I like the course and I'm just very comfortable here. I'm a fairly long hitter, so the length helps me."

Second-Round News & Notes: Prior to this event, Dickinson's lowest standing after two rounds of any Nationwide Tour event was 10th at both the 2003 Mark Christopher Charity Classic. Steve Allan made the biggest move of the day with his 5-under-par 67 moving from T105 to T23....John Kimbell's four previous events here (three Hooters Tour events followed by Qualifying School) he has finished T4, T10, 1st and then advanced at an early stage of the PGA TOUR Qualifying School. . ... Eagles have been scarce on the 7,800 yard course this week with only eight eagles thus far including Brendon de Jonge's hole in one on Friday on the 216-yard 16th hole with a 5-iron. ... D.A. Points, who had the longest current streak of consecutive cuts made on the Nationwide Tour (12) saw his streak come to an end with after finishing the second round at 3 over par for the tournament. ... Steve Bowditch (67), Jess Daley (70), Carlos Franco (67), Chez Reavie (69) Aron Price (70), Marc Turnesa (67), Steve Allan (67) and Brian Smock (68) posted bogey-free rounds on Friday ... The scoring average during the second round was 73.340. The toughest hole was the par-4 13th hole with a 4.340 average, yielding just 10 birdies on the day. The par-5 11th hole ranked the easiest at 4.705.

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