John Riegger moves into lead at Rex Hospital OpenMay 21, 2010
Joe Chemycz, PGA TOUR staff
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Veteran John Riegger carved out a 7-under 64 Friday afternoon to move into the lead at the halfway point of The Rex Hospital Open. Riegger stands at 12-under 130 after two trips at the TPC Wakefield Plantation course, two better than Chris Nallen who shot a 65 late in the day to move into solo second.
First-round leader Scott Brown managed only a 1-over 72, 10 shots higher than Thursday's record-tying 62, and is in a group with three others at 8-under 134. Canada's Dustin Risdon (64), Andrew Svoboda (66) and Raleigh-born Ron Whittaker (67) are tied for third heading into the weekend.
Nine players are tied for seventh place at 7-under 135.
While the 46-year-old Riegger grabbed the top spot, 16-year-old Grayson Murray did his best to grab the headlines. Murray, who is finishing up his sophomore year at Leesville Road High School in Raleigh, N.C., shot a 5-under 66 to get to 3-under 139 and make the 36-hole cut on the number, thus becoming the second-youngest player to make a cut in the Nationwide Tour's history.
"There's so many good players all over the world now, it doesn't matter if they're 16 or 60," said Riegger. "Golf doesn't know age."
Murray, bound for nearby Wake Forest University in 2012 on the prestigious Arnold Palmer Scholarship, rebounded from an opening 73 by hitting all 18 greens in regulation.
"I wanted to be the first to make the cut [at The Rex Hospital Open]. That's a great honor to have," said Murray, who three-putted three times for bogey before rallying with five birdies on his final seven holes. "I knew I could do it starting the day, even though I was 2-over. I was still confident with my game. When I three-putted No. 11, I was disgusted with myself. I told my caddie I was going to birdie out. I was two short of that."
Riegger, meantime, was putting together a masterful effort that could have been even better.
"I let a low one go today," he said. "I hit it close all day. It could have been five or six. I had it 6-under through 10 holes and the longest putt I'd made was three feet."
Riegger's run stalled a bit when his group ran into traffic on the back nine.
"We kind of hit a logjam and that got me a little out of my rhythm," he said. "I hit it so close on four or five holes in a row so I hadn't really putted. I was just tapping in so I lost the feel for the greens and the pace a little bit. I left four putts short, right in the middle, from 10 feet."
Riegger rolled in a short birdie putt on his final hole to offset a bogey at the previous hole -- his only hiccup over the first 36 holes.
Nallen, however, closed with a flourish, making seven birdies on his final 11 holes.
"We hit 16 greens yesterday but we weren't even close. We made one long and just took advantage of the greens we hit," he said. "I hit it closer today and I putted pretty well, which is what you have to do to make birdies."
• Lift, clean and place conditions were in effect for Thursday's opening round but not for Round 2.
• Gavin Coles withdrew after 10 holes due to illness.
• Fabian Gomez was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard today.
• Grayson Murray, at the age of 16 years, 7 months and 20 days, becomes the second-youngest player to make the 36-hole cut in a Nationwide Tour event. Gipper Finau was the youngest at 16 years, 20 days when he advanced to the final two rounds at the 2006 Utah EnergySolutions Championship. Murray is also the fifth-youngest ever to play in a Nationwide Tour event.
• There have been a total of 12 eagles over the first two days and teenager Grayson Murray leads the field with two. Murray holed a wedge shot from 50 yards today on the 573-yard, 6th hole. He also made an eagle in yesterday's opener at the par-5, 13th hole.
• Ron Whittaker, currently T3, was born in Raleigh, N.C. at the Rex Hospital.
• A total of 67 players made the 36-hole cut, which came at 3-under 139.
• The second-round scoring average was 70.442.