In midst of swing change, DeCorso leads South Georgia Classic by twoMay 02, 2008
John Bush, PGA TOUR Staff
VALDOSTA, Ga. -- Bryan DeCorso recorded a 3-under 69 on Friday to move to the front of the pack at the Nationwide Tour's $625,000 South Georgia Classic presented by First State Bank and Trust Co.
Inside the Numbers DeCorso thru 36 Holes Category Total Rank Eagles 1 T1 Birdies 8 T11 Pars 24 T25 Bogeys 3 T56 Double Bogeys 0 N/A Other 0 N/A Driving Accuracy 67.9% T49 Driving Distance 303.0 yds. 22 Greens in Regulation 75.0% T4 Putts per Round 28.5 T21 Putts per GIR 1.741 16 Sand Saves 50.0% T24
Sitting at 7-under 137, DeCorso heads into the weekend with a two-stroke lead over Marco Dawson (68) and David Miller (70), while Bryce Molder (68), Scott Parel (68), Jeff Brehaut (68), David Mathis (69), Vance Veazey (71) and Ben Bates (72) are three shots back.
"I'm actually happier with my round today than I was with yesterday's round, even though it was one stroke higher," said DeCorso, a 36-year-old native of Ontario, Canada, and former Kent State University standout. "There were some tough pins. If you short-sided yourself, you could be in some big trouble."
As if the Davis Love III-designed Kinderlou Forest Golf Club wasn't tough enough at a Tour-record 7,781 yards, windy conditions were a factor in pushing the scoring average to 73.408.
"I was hoping that getting off to an early start would be an advantage," said DeCorso. "But it was so windy. The tough pin positions and the windy conditions made it really tricky. The wind is the hardest condition to play in. It affects the ball so much and you're always guessing."
DeCorso obviously guessed right a lot on Friday, as he moved to familiar territory at the top of a Nationwide Tour leaderboard. Just one week ago, he held a share of the 54-hole lead before finishing a career-best tied for fourth place at the Henrico County Open.
"Besides last week, I've only played one solid week," said DeCorso, who finished tied for 10th place at the Moonah Classic for one of four made cuts in nine starts. "I've been struggling with my ball striking a lot after the break earlier this year."
Things got so bad for DeCorso earlier this season that he recently switched swing coaches and is in the process of totally revamping his swing.
"I had been hitting it so badly, so I went to see a new coach, Greg Towne, and he has changed my game 180 degrees," said DeCorso. "He works with me Monday through Wednesday and even caddied for me last week. It seems he has changed everything. The more I learn about this method, it is hard to believe I could even hit the ball the other way."
So far this week, DeCorso has hit 27 of 36 greens in regulation (75 percent) and 19 of 28 fairways (68 percent). Even better, he needed just 27 putts during the second round.
"I am learning to hit the golf ball a completely different way," said DeCorso. "I had developed so many bad habits. Now I'm hitting more fairways and greens, and my scoring average speaks for itself."
DeCorso's career has been a rollercoaster ride -- gliding from a highly successful mini-Tour career to several leaves of absence, and eventually leading to the success he has enjoyed the last two weeks on Tour.
"I retired, quit, whatever you want to call it three times in my career," said DeCorso, who described his mini-Tour days as a cut-throat business. "I came back for good in the fall of 2005 after doing construction for a year. But the construction job took me away from the game for awhile and that was really good for me."
Second-Round News & Notes: The cut came in at 1-over-par 145, with 68 players advancing to the weekend. ... The second-round leader has gone on to win twice in eight events this season, including Scott Dunlap at the Panama Movistar Championship and Ewan Porter at the Moonah Classic. ... Keith Nolan (72) posted an unconventional bogey-free round on Friday with 18 pars. Other mistake-free scorecards were turned in by Marco Dawson (68) and Scott Parel (68). ... Defending champion John Kimbell (73) missed the cut with a 5-over 149 finish. ... Robin Freeman withdrew after nine holes on Friday with a wrist injury. David Peoples (injury) and Chris Anderson (family illness) withdrew prior to the start of the round.