James Nitties had a solid rookie year in 2009, banking nearly $1 million and nearly winning a couple of times early in the year. But his sophomore season has been derailed by ... well, one can't put a finger on it. Nitties has hit the ball decent all year, and his putting stats are in the top half on TOUR.
So what's wrong? No one knows. But a tie for third in the Puerto Rico Open presented by Banco Popular remains his only top 10 of the year, and at 150th on the money list, he's in serious jeopardy of heading to q-school.
But Nitties is in the hunt this week at TPC Summerlin. He fired a 65 on Friday to move into the top 15. He's projected at 146th on the money list, which is very important because it would assure him a few starts on TOUR early next year. Nitties, an Australian, traditionally plays his best early in the year, immediately after the Australian summer wraps up.
The two players who would benefit the most right now if they can hold their current positions: Jay Williamson and James Nitties. Both are currently outside the top 125 on the FedExCup points list, but both are are off to a good start at the John Deere Classic.
Williamson is 3 under through 10 holes in his second round and 9 under for the week, which has him in a tie for sixth, while Nitties is already in the clubhouse at 9 under after a 69 today. Right now, the two are projected to climb 26 and 16 spots, respectively. Click here for the complete projected FedExCup points list. -- Brian Wacker
Add James Nitties’ name to the list of contenders. The Aussie just turned in a 7-under 64 that leaves him in a tie for third at the moment after a bogey-free round.
That’s what happens in perfect conditions and under lift, clean and place – Nitties hit a dozen fairways, 14 greens and needed just 26 putts. The 64 also represents the lowest round of his season and Nitties. -- Brian Wacker
Australian Jason Day, looking for his first PGA TOUR win, has started off the strongest among those with early tee times.
Day, starting his first round on the 10th tee, has birdied four of his first six holes -- carding five consecutive 3s in the process -- and is now at 4 under as he heads for the only par-5 hole on the back nine, the 546-yard 16th.
In his 11 previous starts this year, Day has posted just one first-round score in the 60s, and does not have a top-20 finish this year.
Another Australian, James Nitties, is playing in the group ahead of Day. Nitties is also at 4 under through eight holes. He's birdied both of the par 3s on the back nine. -- Mike McAllister
The second round is wrapping up in San Antonio, where four players -- Brett Wetterich, Jimmy Walker, James Nitties and Matt Jones -- share the lead at 7 under.
Saturday wasn’t exactly a birdie fest, but only one player (Paul Stankowski) in the top 20 was over par in the second round. The end result is that 28 players are within four shots of the lead going into what will be a very busy Sunday with players going off split tees in groups of three with the hopes of getting all 36 remaining holes in. -- Brian Wacker