Lunde ahead as weather returns
February 15, 2014
- Bill Lunde posted a 3-under 68 before inclement weather struck for the second straight day. (Trotman/Getty Images)
By Joe Chemycz, Web.com Tour staff
BOGOTA, Colombia – Nevada's Bill Lunde grabbed the clubhouse lead with a 3-under 68 in the second round of the Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship, the opening stop on the Web.com Tour’s 25th season.
Lunde managed to finish only 13 holes Thursday afternoon and returned to the County Club of Bogota course and put the finishing touches on a 5-under 66 by holing a sand wedge from 99 yards for an eagle at the par-5, 18th. That ultimately put him in a tie for second place with several others, one shot back of rookie leader Justin Thomas.
"I think everyone in the field would agree that we were pleasantly surprised that it wasn't as wet as would have guessed based on the amount of rain we had Thursday," said Lunde, who is 8-under for his opening 36 holes. "This golf course drains very well. The greens and fairways were noticeably softer but all in all it played great."
The par-71 course got even softer Friday afternoon when another burst of rain forced play to be halted and ultimately postponed. Heavy rains and light hail pounded the course with 0.81 inches in less than an hour and forced officials to call play for the day and resume Round 2 at 7 a.m. Saturday.
Lunde, who hasn't played a competitive round since last October’s PGA TOUR stop in Las Vegas, was also pleasantly surprised at his own game given the extended layoff.
"My expectations were pretty low to tell you the truth," he said with a laugh. "You never know with golf. It's definitely rusty but it's good to come here and compete. I just want to see where I'm at and what I need to work on going forward."
Thomas, who left the University of Alabama after two years, wound up as the first-round leader after closing his opening round Friday morning with three birdies over his final five holes. The 20-year old from Kentucky currently stands at 7-under through 16 holes with fellow rookie Jonathan Randolph 7-under through 15.
Peter Tomasulo (69) holds down fourth place at 6-under 136 while Vaughn Taylor (68) is finished at 5-under.
• The first round resumed play at 7 a.m. with half the field needing to finish the round.
• Second-round tee times ran from 9:15-11:05 am and from 2:00-3:50 pm.
• Half the field was not able to complete their second round. Those players will return to the course Saturday and resume play at 7 a.m. Following the completion of the second round the field will be cut to the low 65 players (and ties).
• During the off-season a change was implemented regarding the cut size on the Web.com Tour for 2014. The low 65 players (and ties) will advance to play the final 36 holes – as opposed to the low 60 (and ties) that has been in effect for several years.
• Guy Boros withdrew during the second round due to a back injury.
• Here is what the first-round leaderboard looked like when play was halted on Thursday:
1 Hugo Leon 66 (-5) T2 Kyle Stough 67 (-4) Steve LeBrun 67 (-4) Carlos Ortiz 67 (-4) Alexandre Rocha 4-under thru 9 6. Six players in at 68 (-3)
• Here is what the first-round leaderboard looked like when play was completed Friday morning:
1. Justin Thomas 65 (-6) T2. Hugo Leon 66 (-5) Bill Lunde 66 (-5) Glen Day 66 (-5) Alexandre Rocha 66 (-5) Jonathan Randolph 66 (-5) Michael Kim 66 (-5) 8. Six players at 67 (-4)
• Bill Lunde came back to the course early Friday and complete five holes of his opening round. He closed in style with a short birdie putt at No. 17 and an eagle at the par-5, 18th where he holed his third shot from 99 yards.
• Lunde spent five years on the PGA TOUR (2009-13) and has made 67 in 122 career starts. His lone win came at the 2010 Turning Stone Championship in New York. Lunde also has one win on the Web.com Tour – the 2008 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in Columbus, Ohio.
• Justin Thomas is making only his second career start on the Web.com Tour. Playing as an amateur, he posted scores of 72-73 (+3) and missed the cut at the 2012 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in Columbus, Ohio.
• Thomas won both the Jack Nicklaus Award and the Fred Haskins Award in 2012, awards given to the top collegiate golfer.
• Thomas played four PGA TOUR events as an amateur and made the cut in three. He has made five starts on TOUR in the 2013-14 wraparound season and made the cut in two – T72 at the Frys.com Open in October and T10 at the Farmers Insurance Open last month. Thomas played in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am last week but missed the 54-hole cut with a 2-over 217 total (70-73-75).
• Jonathan Randolph graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2011 and turned pro later that year. He was named a First Team All-American in 2010. This is his third career start on the Web.com Tour. He missed the cut as an amateur at the 2010 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship and as a pro at the 2012 News Sentinel Open.
• Players who were bogey-free in the first round:
69 – Tony Finau
68 – Alex Cejka
67 – Carlos Ortiz
66 – Michael Kim, Alex Rocha
• Course statistics for this week:
Front 9 (35) Back 9 (36) Total (71) Round 1 35.713 35.490 71.203