Mulroy and Bjornstad lead by two at halfway in Valdosta

Not only is Garth Mulroy five-for-five in making cuts this season, he's also tied for the lead heading into the weekend.
April 24, 2009
Kin Lo, PGA TOUR Staff

VALDOSTA, Ga. -- Garth Mulroy and Henrik Bjornstad lead after Round 2 of the South Georgia Classic presented by First State Bank and Trust Company. At 9 under par, they have a two-stroke advantage over five players tied for third at 7 under.

Mulroy started on the 10th hole in the morning wave, rattling off five birdies in his first seven holes.

Inside the Numbers
Mulroy vs. Bjornstad
Category Mulroy Bjornstad
Eagles 0 0
Birdies 12 13
Pars 21 19
Bogeys 3 4
Double Bogeys 0 0
Other 0 0
Driving Accuracy 78.6% 57.1%
Driving Distance 315.8 yds. 311.8 yds.
Greens in Regulation 77.8% 80.6%
Putts per Round 27.5 29
Putts per GIR 1.607 1.655
Sand Saves 100% 100%

"Even though it's slightly longer, the back is the easier of the two nines," he said. "I felt good after capitalizing on those opportunities at the start of the round."

Through two rounds of play Mulroy has not missed a fairway or green on holes 10 through 18. He has nine birdies and nine pars on the 18 holes he's played on the back so far.

Opposite Mulroy, Bjornstad started in the afternoon on the first tee. He proceeded to set a new course record for the front nine at Kinderlou Forest with a 30 that included six birdies and three pars. In the clubhouse with an 8-under 64, Bjornstad is happy to be this position.

"I've been struggling lately, so it's nice to finally put some good scores together," he said. "I started the day just trying to play a solid round and it turned out to be a great one. It was just one of those days where things went my way -- I got all the right breaks."

Bjornstad started the year strong with two ties for fourth place in his first three starts. He has tapered since, missing the cut twice in the last three tournaments and finishing tied for 64th in Athens. He is still one of the year's best performers at 13th on the official money list. The top 25 at the end of 2009 earn their PGA TOUR cards.

Mulroy is five-for-five in cuts made this year. He is coming off his best finish so far, a tie for fourth last week at the Athens Regional Foundation Classic. He is currently 24th on the official money list.

Both Mulroy and Bjornstad highlight the strength of international players on the Nationwide Tour. Mulroy is from Durban, South Africa, and Bjornstad a native of Oslo, Norway.

Two shots behind the leaders at 7 under par are Brad Elder (68), Kyle Reifers (67), D.J. Brigman (67), Chris Smith (68) and Marco Dawson (69)

The field was cut after the second round to 61 players at 1 under or better.

It was warm and dry in Valdosta for Round 2. Temperatures soared to nearly 90 degrees with light southeast wind and full sunshine. The weekend will feature similar conditions with light easterly winds and highs in the middle to upper 80s.

The third round begins at 8:06 a.m. Saturday morning with twosomes going off the first tee in nine-minute intervals.

Second-Round Notebook: Bjornstad's 64 ties the course record at Kinderlou Forest set by Paul Dickinson in 2007. ... Past champions of this event in the field include Bryan DeCorso (1 over, missed cut) and John Kimbell (2 under, tied for 39th). DeCorso and Kimbell won in 2008 and 2007, respectively. ... Sponsor exemption Brent Witcher shot a 1-over-par 72 in the second round, finishing at 2 over cumulatively and missing the cut. Witcher is a senior at Valdosta State University and earned All America honors in 2008. ... Keegan Bradley played his way into the field after shooting a 65 at the Monday qualifier. At 2 under par for the tournament, he is tied for 39th and made the cut in his first professional start on Tour. Bradley is the nephew of LPGA Hall of Fame member Pat Bradley.