Bland, Fraustro tied for the lead in Mexico

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June 24, 2011
Adam Wallace, Nationwide Tour Staff

LEON, Guanajuato, Mexico. -- Inclement weather interrupted play again on Friday pushing back the completion of the second round of the 53rd Mexico Open presented by Banamex to Saturday. A total of 57 players of the field of 144 have completed their second round at El Bosque Country Club. Those who did not finish their second round at the par-72, 7,708 yard track located approximately 6,800 feet above sea level will resume play at 7:45 a.m. on Saturday morning. The top-60 and ties are expected to begin the third round from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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Australian Adam Bland and Mexican Oscar Fraustro managed to climb to 10-under 134, which is a tournament record, before play was halted at 8:06 p.m. because of darkness. Mexican Octavio Gonzalez and American Nicholas Thompson are two back at 8-under par.

Bland was one of the 72 players who returned to the course this morning at 8:00 a.m. to complete his first round. The Aussie added two birdies to his card to post a first-round 6-under 66 then used his momentum to back it up with a second-round 4-under 68.

"I don't really worry about the conditions because everyone has to put up with it," said Bland, who lost in a playoff here in 2009 to Troy Merritt. "It's a bit of a pain waiting around all day spending most of the day just killing time; it is not enjoyable."

"I played well the last time I came here," said the 28-year old. "Hopefully this year I can do a little bit better than last time and boost my confidence. I don't know what it is about the golf course but I like it here and it's always a good feeling when you play well somewhere."

This week will be Bland's third made cut in nine events this year. The lefty's best finish came at the Pacific Rubiales Bogota Open where he finished T49. He's the first to admit things haven't been going well for him this year.

"I've been playing average at best," he said. "But I'm starting to trust what I'm doing. My confidence is growing a little bit. I've putted pretty solid the past couple of days and kept the ball in play. I've also converted a lot of the short irons which has been a problem of late."

Fraustro's second-round 7-under 65 is the best of the 57 players who finished their second round. He recorded eight birdies, offset by one bogey, en route to being the low Mexican headed into the weekend.

"Winning this event would mean everything to my career," said Fraustro, who lives in Scottsdale, Ariz. "But I can't focus on winning the event. I need to think one shot at a time and one day at a time."

Fraustro, who is originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, played golf for the University of South Florida before graduating in 2004. He currently has conditional status on the European Tour and Asian Tour, where he won in 2010.

"I've played all over the world since college," said Fraustro. "A win out here would put me one step closer to playing on the PGA TOUR."

Thompson has been consistent through the first two rounds with back-to-back 4-under 68s. The former Georgia Tech golfer has racked up 11 birdies and just three bogies.

"I could have gone a lot lower," said Thompson, who finished fourth in the Melwood Prince George's County Open a few weeks ago. "I hit a lot of good shots today and we're still able to fly it to the hole since the greens are soft."

Second-Round Notes:

* Play was suspended in the second round from 3:02 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. and 5:39 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. due to inclement weather in the area. Play was halted at 8:06 p.m. when darkness fell.

* Todd Bailey (77), Brian Bateman (69), Guy Boros (73), Matt Every (69), Blake Parks (76) ,Brian Smock (75) and Scott Weatherly (81) withdrew prior to the start of their second round.

* Will Claxton played four holes in six-under par on Friday. He finished eagle, birdie (No. 8 and No. 9) in the first round then began his second round eagle, birdie (No. 1 and No. 2). He's currently 3-under 141/T26.

* Mathias Gronberg was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard after the second round.

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