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  • Interviews

    Brandon Wu takes second-round lead at Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper

  • Interviews

    Brandon Wu interview after Round 2 of the Price Cutter

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri – Brandon Wu carded a bogey-free, 9-under 63 on Friday to take the 36-hole lead at the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper. Michael Arnaud sits in solo-second at 13-under 131 after two rounds at Highland Springs Country Club.

Wu began the day in a tie for 13th but quickly climbed the leaderboard with birdies on two of his first three holes. On the par-5 18th, his ninth hole of the day, the 23-year-old recorded his first eagle of the week and moved to 9-under for the tournament.

After pars on Nos. 1 and 2, Wu erupted with birdies on five of his final seven holes to reach 14-under after 36 holes, one shot clear of Michael Arnaud.

“I definitely putted well out there,” Wu said after the round. “The greens are really good, so getting that dialed in was nice. I’ve been hitting it well the past couple of days, so it was good to see the putts drop.”

This week marks Wu’s third Korn Ferry Tour start. Last season, he finished T30 at the Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae after competing as an amateur and finished T41 in his Tour debut at the 2018 LECOM Health Challenge.

Last October, Wu made his PGA TOUR debut as a professional at the Houston Open, finishing the week T17. After a successful first TOUR event, he went on to make the cut in his next three TOUR starts. Two weeks ago, he missed the cut at the TOUR’s Workday Charity Open.

Prior to turning professional, Wu was a standout at Stanford University and helped lead the Cardinal to a National Championship during his senior season.

While at Stanford, Wu competed against PGA TOUR members Matthew Wolff, Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland. Despite the immediate success of his peers, Wu knows the path to the TOUR is not as easy as his counterparts have made it look.

“They made it kind of tough for us because they did so well,” Wu said with a laugh. “It is tough, I kind of went through the same route and played a bunch of sponsor invites. For me, I think it’s just one step at a time and I hope to join them out there soon.”

Arnaud followed an opening-round, 6-under 66 with a 7-under 65 on Friday. The 38-year-old began the day with birdies on three of his first four holes. After his lone bogey of the day at the par-4 14th, his fifth hole of the day, he rebounded with a birdie on No. 17 to reach 9-under for the week.

On his second nine, Arnaud tallied birdies on Nos. 1, 2, 6 and 8 to reach 13-under, one stroke off the lead.

“This past week, my caddie (Chris Schwartz) compiled some numbers and found out what clubs I need to be hitting into these greens for my best birdie opportunities,” Arnaud said. “My 9-iron, 6-iron and my 50-degree wedge, for some reason, it’s an odd thing. It’s kind of ridiculous, the percentage (of birdies) I’ve been making with those clubs. We’ve been trying to get to those distances and every time we do, we have a big grin on our face.”

Arnaud entered this week in search of his game. After beginning the year with two made cuts in the Bahamas, the Beaumont, Texas, native had failed to make a cut since. Through the first 12 events of the year, he ranked 174th on the points list but has rediscovered his game at Highland Springs Country Club.

“Golf’s a fickle game like that,” he said. “You can go from the bottom to the top and the top to the bottom just as quickly. You just have to take it as it comes and when it’s going good, enjoy it. When it’s not, just try to work at it and know you can get back to the peak of that mountain.”

Third-round tee times will run from approximately 7:00 – 9:00 a.m. with players teeing off Nos. 1 and 10.