McCarthy stays on top after two rounds in Knoxville Open

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June 22, 2007
By Chris Reimer PGA TOUR Staff

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Kyle McCarthy is not concerned with winning this week. Sure, he would take the $85,500 winner's check at the Knoxville Open presented by Food City. Of course, his ultimate goal is to get into The 25 and join the PGA TOUR next year. But after a second-round 70 put McCarthy at 10 under par with a one-stroke lead on Friday, the 24-year-old rookie is happy to make the cut and get himself into contention for the first time on the Nationwide Tour this season.

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INSIDE THE NUMBERS
KYLE MCCARTHY THRU 36 HOLES
Category Total Rank
Eagles 1 T1
Birdies 10 T6
Pars 23 T29
Bogeys 2 T54
Double Bogeys 0 N/A
Other 0 N/A
Driving Accuracy 57.1% T55
Driving Distance 272.3 yds. 36
Putts per Round 24.5 T1
Putts per GIR 1.571 3
Greens in Regulation 58.3% T61
Sand Saves 100.0% T1

"To know that I've cashed a check, no matter what happens on the weekend is huge," McCarthy said. "This will help me have a much better chance of playing as the year goes on."

Early in his round, it looked as if McCarthy wouldn't be able to capitalize on his first-round 64 as he bogeyed the third and fifth holes to go out in 2-over-par 38. Four birdies and a 32 on the back nine kept him in the lead at one of four events remaining from the original 1990 Nationwide Tour schedule.

"I just didn't hit it as straight as I did yesterday so that was a problem," he said. "I just stayed within myself and played solid through the day."

This marks the first cut that McCarthy has made on the Nationwide Tour this season. He earned his spot on the Nationwide Tour the hard way. He was rookie was the only player to advance from the pre-qualifier, through the first and second rounds and all the way to the final round of last year's PGA TOUR National Qualifying Tournament. McCarthy is attempting to become the first wire-to-wire winner in the history of the 17-year event.

Deane Pappas followed a first-round 67 with a second-round 68 and is one shot off the lead -- his best second-round standing since the 2005 Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open.

"My plan at the start of the week was the shoot 20 under par. So I'm close to half way there," Pappas said. "I'm just trying to hit my spots."

Canadian Brad Fritsch shot the round of the day at the 7,110-yard course at Fox Den Country Club. A bogey-free 65 that included four consecutive birdies between holes 10-13 moved Fritsch from T34 to third on the learderboard. Fritsch has one top-25 during his rookie campaign on the Nationwide Tour and sits at No. 121 on the money list.

"It hasn't been the best year so far, but I keep telling myself that there are so many events left and I am bound to play well in one of them," he said. "Today, I finally dialed it in."

Fritsch played in the same group as McCarthy and Bob Burns for the first two rounds. The three combined to shoot 24 under par through the second round with all three finishing Friday in the top six.

"It was a nice group. We talked a lot," Fristch said. "We fed off each other and sometimes had a lot of the same putts."

Roland Thatcher, Brad Quiri and Jon Mills are three strokes back.

Second-Round News & Notes: Brad Fritsch, Todd Demsey, Michael Letzig, Esteban Toledo, Jim Gallagher Jr., Willie Wood, Larry Mize, Kyle Thomspson and Tim Turpen shot bogey-free rounds. ... Miguel Carballo, ranked No. 11 on the money list and winner of the Movistar Panama Championship, has made the cut in each of the 10 events he has played this season. ... 67 players made the cut at 1 under par, nine strokes off the lead. ... Out of 17 events in tournament history, 11 have been won by first-time winners on the Nationwide Tour. ... The scoring average moved from 73.020 on Thursday to 72.079 on Friday. The 16th hole played the most difficult as the par-3 214-yard hole gave up just three birdies and averaged .316 strokes over par for the tournament.

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