Piercy thrives on feeling of 'eerie calm' to shoot 62August 08, 2008
Mark Williams, PGA TOUR Staff
WICHITA, Kan. -- With the Olympic Games beginning in China at 8:08:08 p.m., Scott Piercy could identify with the "faster, higher, stronger" Olympic motto, getting off to a fast start, looking for a high finish and turning in his strongest performance so far this year.
Piercy, a 29-year-old from Las Vegas, Nev., followed a first-round 64 with a 9-under 62 for a 16-under 126, setting the 36-hole tournament record at the Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open.
Three strokes back is Chris Anderson (65) at 13-under 129. Anderson highlighted his bogey-free round with an eagle at the par-5 14th hole after hitting a 3-iron to 6 feet.
Aaron Watkins (68), a 26-year-old from Mesa, Ariz., who played golf at Kansas State University, finished with back-to-back birdies to get to 11-under and lie alone in fourth.
Piercy returned early this morning to complete his first round, holing a 30-footer on his final hole for birdie. His only bogey in the second round came at the par-3 11th hole where he three-putted. His 10-birdie round was the best of his career but it may not be the best of his life. Five birdies in the last six holes at the Ultimate Game in Las Vegas in June last year, where he won $2 million, probably claims the top spot.
"That was definitely one of those feelings you wish you could have every day," said Piercy, who has made eight cuts in 10 events this season. "It was one of those eerie calms."
"The biggest thing that win gave me, apart from the $2 million, was a window to take a break," said Piercy, who injured his wrist following the big victory. "Since then, I haven't played back-to-back weeks until Fort Smith and the BMW in May this year. There was a lot of rust. Every week I've been top-10 in birdies, bogeys and doubles. Very inconsistent."
Anderson, who was defeated by Rick Price in a playoff a month ago at the Nationwide Tour Players Cup, has spent a lot of time this year with fellow Nationwide Tour players Chris Smith and Ryan Hietala, who won last week's Cox Classic.
"We are all trying to be a little more positive," said the 37-year-old Anderson, a Windemere, Fla., resident. "We figured out it's not as hard as we've been making it. We all got tired of playing bad and we know we're better than what we've been doing."
Summerhays, who last year became the first amateur to win on the Nationwide Tour, couldn't keep his birdie streak going. After opening with five straight birdies, and another before the turn, to shoot 30 (-6), he played his inward nine with nine consecutive pars.
"After the great start I think I did a pretty good job of staying in the present," said Summerhays, from Farmington, Utah.
Haas, who was paired with Summerhays, chipped-in twice on his back nine.
"Daniel played well today," said Haas, who lost a four-way playoff in Wichita to Brad Hughes in 2004. "He kind of kept me focused and we fed of each other. It's a good start. I'm four back, but this golf course isn't that easy."
After grinding on the mini-tours for seven years, last year's Las Vegas win couldn't have come at a better time in Piercy's life.
"Every couple of months I would check my bank account to make sure....it was like, wow! Now the money is starting to be spent and I need another win."
Maybe Piercy can achieve his goal on Sunday, joining the eight 36-hole Wichita Open leaders who have gone on to victory.
Second Round News & Notes: Sam Randolph withdrew during the second round with a lower back injury...Preferred lies are in effect for the second round...The second-round scoring average was 70.470. The first-round average of 68.940 was the lowest first-round average in tournament history...The cut was 4-under-par with 61 players advancing to the weekend...Third round tee-times will begin at 9:32 a.m. off the 1st and 10th tees due to an unfavorable weather forecast.