BOISE, Idaho -- Bill Lunde got into a bit of a rut during Friday's second round of the Albertsons Boise Open. It turned out to be a pretty good rut, too. Lunde ran off a half-dozen par-par-birdie streaks at Hillcrest Country Club, finishing with a 6-under 65 and sole possession of first place in the Nationwide Tour's $725,000 event.
|Inside the Numbers|
|Lunde thru 36 Holes|
Lunde birdied holes 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 and 18 and parred the others en route to an 11-under 131 total and a two-stroke lead after 36 holes. Playing partner Spencer Levin closed with birdies at 15, 16 and 17 for a 66 and a 9-under 133 score, which was later matched in the afternoon by former Arkansas Razorback Tag Ridings, one of 20 PGA TOUR players competing this week while the TOUR takes the week off prior to next week's regular stop at the Viking Classic in Jackson, Miss.
The consensus this week is that accuracy off the tee is a must, but Lunde, winner of the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational, defied majority thinking by hitting only six of 14 fairways.
"Don't tell everyone that," Lunde laughed as he finished his lunch with several players within earshot. "Can't we let them think I played really good today?"
Well, he did, actually. He got lucky, too.
"I missed quite a few fairways by just a little but I got away with getting some pretty decent lies, so that was key," he said of his not-so-stellar statistics. "Just being able to get the ball in the middle of the green and two-putt and get out of there with par. I really only struggled on one hole."
It was only one, but what a struggle it turned out to be for the Las Vegas resident. At the reachable, par-5 16th hole, where players are going for the green using anywhere from a 5-iron to an 8-iron for second shots, Lunde pulled his tee shot into the trees. That's when the fun started.
"I had to hit it low, under the trees and it got caught up. I didn't have a good lie and didn't get out. I hit the next one across the fairway into the rough," he said. "I had a bad lie but knocked it on and made the putt."
What he left out was the distance of the par-saving putt. Somewhere between 50 and 60 feet.
"That's probably the ugliest par I've made in a while. It all does down (on the scorecard) the same," he chuckled. "It's putts like that that keep the momentum of a round and a tournament going."
Momentum has been on Lunde's side for much of the 2008 season, which began with a fifth-place finish at the season-opening Panama Movistar Championship. He collected his first career win in Columbus two months ago and when he backed it up the following week with a tie for sixth at the Cox Classic, he had earned enough money to guarantee a spot among THE 25 leading money winners and a berth on the PGA TOUR in 2009. He is currently No. 5 on the money list with five tournaments still left on the schedule.
"The goal is the same and that's to finish as high as possible on the money list. It's so important as to which tournaments you'll get in," said the 32-year-old of his upcoming rookie season on TOUR. "If I could somehow squeak out and become No. 1 on the money list, that's the ultimate goal. I've got to keep playing hard each week and finish as high as I can."
Second-Round News & Notes: Tee McCabe withdrew during the second round due to a wrist injury. ... Doug Barron withdrew during the round due to a neck injury. ... This week's field included the top-50 money winners on Tour and 96 of the top-100. ... This is the first 2008 Nationwide Tour start for Tag Ridings, who has made 10 of 22 cuts on the PGA TOUR and is currently No. 150 on the money list. ... A total of 20 players who have entered next week's Viking Classic on the PGA TOUR are competing this week. Seven of the 20 made the cut, led by Tag Ridings, who is currently tied for second. ... A total of 65 players made the 36-hole cut, which came at 3-under 139.