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Springer shoots 9-under to lead halfway through the Fortinet Cup Championship

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Springer shoots 9-under to lead halfway through the Fortinet Cup Championship

    Written by PGA TOUR Canada Staff @PGATOURCanada

    CALGARY, Alberta – Hayden Springer seemed like an extreme longshot to win the Fortinet Cup last month. Even after claiming his first victory two weeks ago in Winnipeg, the Texan still had plenty of work to do. But after tying the course record on Friday, Springer surged into first place and is on the cusp of being able to make next season’s plans on the Korn Ferry Tour.

    Springer shot a 9-under 62 at Country Hills Golf Club, which included a 28 on the front nine, and took the lead at 14-under at the midpoint of PGA TOUR Canada’s Fortinet Cup Championship.

    “I’m trying not to think too much about that and just focus on each day, each shot,” Springer said. “We all want to finish in that No. 1 spot. We all come out here to play and to win and hopefully finish No. 1. I’m not going to think a lot about it, just try to play the best I possibly can these next two days and then wherever I finish, I finish.”

    Springer holds a one-shot lead over Derek Hitchner, who also tied the course record in the second round with a 9-under 62 and sits at 13-under. Alex Scott shot 65 and holds solo third place at 12-under. Tied for fourth place at 11-under are Chris Korte (63), Taylor Funk (63), George Markham (63), Eric Lilliboe (67), and first-round leader Corey Shaun, who followed his opening 63 with a 68.

    Springer’s front-nine 28 matched the lowest nine-hole score on PGA TOUR Canada this season. He did it with some prowess with the flat stick.

    “I made some bombs,” Springer said. “I made a 40-footer on No. 2, even longer than that, like a 50-footer on No. 7. I was feeling good. You don’t expect to make any of those putts, so for them to go in, it’s kind of like bonuses. I was feeling pretty solid on the front.”

    Hitchner was feeling it, too. He had an eagle and seven birdies for his 62, two shots lower than his previous best score of the season.

    “It feels like one of those courses where you can accumulate a ton of 8-15 footers and thankfully I got a lot of those to go in today. The course was more scoreable today.” Hitchner said. “It was a pretty simple objective in that I had to win to just challenge the top five. I also have a few other things that need to go my way, so I feel like that allowed me to just free things up a little bit and play as loosely and freely as I could.”

    Scott shot his second-straight 65, this one began with a 29 on the front side – thanks to a pair of eagles, including one on the par-4 ninth hole.

    “I hit it to like a foot on No. 2 for eagle and I holed out for eagle on No. 9,” Scott said. “I wish I had seen it go in because everybody freaked out, but everything seemed kind of automatic. I got away with a couple bad ones that I turned into good. I just played really solid.”

    Scott is currently projected to finish 19th on the Fortinet Cup list, which would get him into the second stage of PGA TOUR Q-School presented by Korn Ferry.

    With no cut, players are re-paired tomorrow and will once again tee off at 8:30 a.m.

    Key Information

    Fortinet Cup Standings

    (Through CRMC Championship presented by Gertens)

    Pos.PlayerPointsProjected Rank
    1Sam Choi (United States)1,2282
    2Davis Lamb (United States)1,1343
    3Étienne Papineau (Canada)9444
    4Hayden Springer (United States)7111
    5Stuart Macdonald (Canada)7075
    6John Pak (United States)7008
    7Davis Shore (United States)6479
    8Devon Bling (United States)63910
    9Yi Cao (China)6336
    10Chris Korte (United States)5937

    How the Canadians fared

    Of the 11 Canadians in the tournament, Myles Creighton, Etienne Papineau and Jared du Toit are sitting in the best position after 36 holes, all tied for 13th at 8-under. Here are where all Canadians stand heading into round three.

    T13Myles Creighton69-65—134 (8-under)
    T13Jared du Toit67-67—134 (8-under)
    T13Etienne Papineau68-66—134 (8-under)
    T19Noah Steele69-66—135 (7-under)
    T25Stuart Macdonald71-65—136 (6-under)
    T25Sudarshan Yellamaraju66-70—136 (6-under)
    T42Matthew Anderson70-69—139 (3-under)
    T46Lawren Rowe72-68—140 (2-under)
    T46Brendan MacDougall70-70—140 (2-under)
    T57Joey Savoie71-71—142 (EVEN)

    Eric McCardle had two eagles on his front nine on Friday, a day after making two eagles in his opening round. The four eagles ties him for the most in one tournament, matching the four recorded by Austen Christiansen at the CentrePort Canada Rail Park Manitoba Open. McCardle had two more eagles in the third round of last weeks CMRC Championship, giving him six over his last four rounds and eight for the season.

    After struggling to shoot par in the first round, Vancouver’s Stuart Macdonald came back with a 65 on Thursday, which featured an eagle during his back-nine 31. Macdonald’s tee shot on No. 13 stopped a yard short of rolling in the water and he hit a 9-iron to within 30 feet and made the putt.

    Cooper Dossey was the last man to qualify for this week’s limited 60-player no-cut field. He turned in a 64 on Thursday and moved into the top 10. Dossey has a new putter in the bag this week. “I haven’t really changed much, maybe a couple of days but I’ve always gone back to the blade. This is a new feel. It looks completely different, but it’s working,” Dossey said.

    Jeffrey Kang continued his good play with a second-round 64 that vaulted him all the way to a tie for 13th. Since joining PGA TOUR Canada in late July, the 32-year-old veteran has made four of five cuts and finished in the top 10 the last two weeks. He tied for second at the Windsor Championship and was solo second at last week’s CRMC Championship.


    “I hit it pretty far off the tee and if I can get a mid-iron in, it’s all about getting the ball to drop. You hit it far enough down there and you can take advantage of it.” – Eric McCardle on this week’s eagle binge.

    “I’ve got to worry about myself and my own game. I’ve got to play. That’s the bottom line. I don’t look at the leaderboard or projected scores. I’ve just got to go out there and play well.” – Stuart Macdonald

    “I’ve been struggling on the greens and really been struggling with my attitude all year. I put a lot of pressure on myself to play well and I can rage out there. Today I just tried to have fun. I didn’t get made today. Hit it well again and the putter worked. I stayed patient and tried to have fun and somehow shot 65.” – Cooper Dossey

    “I struggled with controlling my irons (on Thursday). I felt like I was hitting it either way too long or too short. Might be the wind a little bit, too, and the elevation. So I did a better job of that today. Still need a little bit of work done, but way better.” – Jeffrey Kang

    Second-Round Weather: Cloudy early on, but clearing in the afternoon and warming to a high of 18°C. Winds out of NNW 6-13 km/h.

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