Owen pulls ahead by one at Rex Hospital Open

June 06, 2008
Mark Williams, PGA TOUR Staff

RALEIGH, N.C. -- England's Greg Owen fired a 3-under 68 Friday to take the halfway lead at the Rex Hospital Open at the TPC Wakefield Plantation. His 9-under-par 133 total leads by one stroke over Georgia's Jonathan Fricke.

Inside the Numbers
Owen thru 36 Holes
Category Total Rank
Eagles 0 N/A
Birdies 13 1
Pars 20 T56
Bogeys 2 T66
Double Bogeys 1 T3
Other 0 N/A
Driving Accuracy 85.7% T2
Driving Distance 329.5 yds. T8
Putts per Round 28.5 T13
Greens in Regulation 86.1% T2
Putts per GIR 1.613 1
Sand Saves 0 N/A

"It's where you want to be," said Owen, who has held at least a share of the lead four times this year.

Owen started his round on No. 10 and got to 9-under after 13 holes. A double bogey at the par-3 seventh hole could have derailed his round but he closed with a pair of birdies and increased his sub-par rounds this year to 21 out of 28 rounds.

"One bad shot and it cost me a double bogey," he said. "It's frustrating. I had an 8-iron and we waited for a while on the tee and I just pushed it. I lost a bit of focus there but other than that I played great."

Fricke, winner of the 2007 Stonebridge Classic on the Tarheel Tour, moved into second at 8-under with a 66. Fricke required only 22 putts in his bogey-free round and is happy with his position.

"It's been so bad for so long so I took a week off to see my teacher," said Fricke. "We got some good work in and now it's paying off."

Fran Quinn, the first-round co-leader, played early and shot a 1-under 70, but it was nothing like the bogey-free round (65) he had Thursday. Quinn's scorecard showed six birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey at the fifth hole.

"My card looked like a checkered flag," said Quinn, who made bogey on his last hole after losing his ball.

"Overall I played pretty solid as hot as it was out there," he added. "I thought today was hotter than it was yesterday when I played late."

Brad Fritsch followed Thursday's 66 with a 2-under 69 for a 7-under-par 135 total.

"That round yesterday was a big boost for me," said Fritsch, the Canadian native who now resides in Holly Springs, N.C.

Fritsch began his round with a bogey for the second day in a row. He birdied the intimidating par-4 fifth hole on his inward nine after hitting a 9-iron to six inches.

"That was nice," said the 30-year-old Fritsch. "It makes a hard hole really easy."

Asked if a victory here would top the excitement he experienced when he played in the 2006 U.S. Open, Fritsch replied, "Absolutely, but I've had a little trouble looking too far forward during an event so my goal this week is to perform like I've been practicing."

Spencer Levin, who has made five cuts from 12 starts this season, is tied with a large group of players at 6 under par, including Ian Leggatt, the Canadian who resides in Chapel Hill, N.C.; David Branshaw; Scott Gutschewski; Jeff Gallagher; and Garth Mulroy, another Raleigh, N.C., resident.

Second-Round News & Notes: Brad Ott and Deane Pappas both withdrew after nine holes. ... Craig Lile was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard. ... Todd Fischer, Aron Price and Chris Nallen, all with one top 10 this year, shot 5-under 66s. ... The cut came at even-par 142 with 70 players advancing to the weekend.