By Jeff Adams, PGA TOUR staff
GREENVILLE, S.C. – First-year Web.com Tour member Franklin Corpening is the halfway leader of the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation after posting a 15-under-par total of 128 in the unique pro-celebrity/amateur tournament played over three courses in Upstate South Carolina.
The 28-year-old from Fort Worth, Texas has a one-shot lead over fellow TCU grad and friend Tom Hoge and South Carolina’s Mark Anderson after rounds of 62-66.
Corpening has played near flawless golf over the opening 36 holes, collecting 13 birdies, one eagle and no bogeys. He has hit 22 of 27 fairways and 30 of 36 greens, recording 29 putts yesterday and 25 today. His only stressful moment came on his 18th hole at The Reserve at Lake Keowee when he canned a 15-footer to save par after being in a greenside bunker.
While this is a big week for Corpening, he has another one ahead. He has received a Champions’ Choice invitation to play in next week’s PGA TOUR event, the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Country Club, where he learned to play the game and his father has been a member since the age of 10.
The self-proclaimed American Idol fan who is seeking his first win in the professional ranks opted to sit out last night’s finale in order to get his rest.
“I was hoping that Kree won,” he said. “I have it recorded at home and I'll go back to see if the judges made the right decision.”
Unfortunately, Franklin will be disappointed when he gets to watch it.
Playing Thornblade Club, Hoge carded three birdies on the front nine and added four more on the back, plus a kick in eagle on the par-5 16th when he nailed a 5-iron from 212 yards to one foot en route to his 63. The unique format which pairs one professional with a celebrity or amateur has had a positive effect on Hoge.
“The guys we’re playing with this week are good amateur players, so it feels like you’re back at home playing a practice round with some guys who are scratch golfers. They’ve been great and we’ve been able to feed off each other.”
Mark Anderson tackled what statistically has been the toughest of the three host courses Friday. The Beaufort, S.C., resident added a 67 at Greenville Country Club’s Chanticleer course to the 63 he put up Thursday at The Reserve at Lake Keowee which put gave him a share of the first-round lead.
“I’m happy with my 67 today,” the 2008 University of South Carolina grad said. “It’s nice to get this one out of the way and play well. This (Greenville Country Club) is definitely the trickiest of the three courses.”
Hudson Swafford (Greenville Country Club) and Zack Miller (The Reserve), who shared the first-round lead with Corpening, shot 70 and 73, respectively, to drop to T7 and T31.
Second-Round Notes & Quotes:
-- Friday’s weather: Partly cloudy skies and highs in the low-80s with 5-10 mph winds.
-- Roland Thatcher tied the course record at Thornblade Club with a 10-under par 61 (Keegan Bradley, 2010). The round of 31-30 included four birdies on the front nine, four more on the back, plus an eagle at the par-5 15th. Thatcher is tied for seventh and plays The Reserve at Lake Keowee on Saturday.
-- Franklin Corpening has conditional status via the PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament last December. His best finish in eight career Tour starts to date is tie for 22nd at this year’s Chile Classic in Santiago in March. His game has been steady, yet not spectacular this year as he has made five cuts in his six starts. He is 86th in earnings.
-- Corpening is one of three players to complete the first 36 holes without a bogey, joined by Aron Price (-10) and Benjamin Alvarado (-8).
-- Corpening tied the 36-hole tournament record:
128 - Travis Hampshire, 2011
128 -- Greg Owen, 2011
128 – Franklin Corpening, 2013
-- Playing with conditional status both last year and this year, Tom Hoge’s previous best finish on the Web.com Tour was a tie for sixth at the 2012 Colombia Championship in Bogota. “It’s been a slow start (in 2013), not knowing when I’m getting in events. I’ve felt like I’ve been playing great the last month or so, starting in Brazil when I shot a 65 in the first round there. Hopefully I’ll get into a few events like here and Mexico and go from there.”
-- Guy Boros and Matt Davidson lead the tournament in Greens in Regulation (33 of 36).
-- Andrew Loupe leads the field in putts per round (24.50).
-- Richard S. Johnson leads the field in driving accuracy (26 of 28).
-- Cliff Kresge had a pair of eagles on par-5s at Chanticleer today…Nos. 15 & 17.
-- In the Pro-Am competition, the teams of Michael Putnam/Rolf Klam and Wes Roach/Bob Johns are tied for the lead at 23-under par. South Carolina's Mark Anderson and partner Todd Justice are in third place, one shot back.
-- Following Saturday's third round the top-16 teams will advance to play in Sunday's final round. There are currently 16 teams at 20-under par (T9) or better, including the team of David Lipsky and partner Ty Gretzky, the 22-year old son of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky (T35) and actress Janet Jones-Gretzky (T58).
-- A season-high 168 professionals are competing in the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation to accommodate the unique professional-celebrity/amateur format. A cut will be made Saturday after 54 holes to the low 60 and ties instead of the usual 36-hole cut.
-- For the second time in as many days, an amateur recorded a hole-in-one. Celebrity Gary Valentine (The King of Queens) made his first ace ever while playing Chanticleer’s par-3 14th hole. Valentine’s ace came with a 6-iron shot from 165 yards.
“It’s my first ace but it won’t be my last. I stepped up to the tee and there was a lot of wind. My pro, Jason Gore, and Danny Lee both went in the bunker to the right. I took the extra stick, a 6-iron, and I FLUSHED it! Jason started to walk off the tee box and then he raised his arms in excitement. It literally hit and then rolled like a putt and disappeared,” said Valentine. “I had never seen one before except on TV with the big guys. It’s an easy game. It was fun. We all did a group hand-smack thing. I didn’t know what was going on. We were all excited.”
-- The BMW Charity Pro-Am is the ninth of 25 events on the 2013 Web.com Tour schedule. This week’s purse is $650,000 with $117,000 going to the champion. The Tour heads to Leon, Mexico next week for the Mexico Championship presented by Banamex.