Late birdies give Garth Mulroy Chitimacha lead

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Mulroy made seven birdies and two bogeys in his second round at Le Triomphe Country Club.
March 26, 2010
Joe Chemycz, PGA TOUR Staff

BROUSSARD, La. -- Garth Mulroy birdied his final four holes Friday to move into the lead after two rounds of the Chitimacha Louisiana Open, the first domestic stop on the 2010 Nationwide Tour schedule.


Mulroy, a 31-year-old South African, polished off a 5-under 66 at the Le Triomphe Country Club and stands at 9-under 133 at the halfway point. Jason Enloe of Dallas used a birdie on the final hole to post his second straight 67 and is in second place at 8-under 134.

Rick Price (66), Charles Warren (67) and Monday-qualifier Patrick Grady (68) share third, two back. Vance Veazey (69), Scott Gutschewski (68) and Frank Lickliter (66) are three behind the leader. Six others are four back, including Brian Vranesh (68) last year's playoff runner-up.

After graduating from this Tour last year, Mulroy has struggled mightily during his rookie season on the PGA TOUR, missing the cut in each of his six starts. He has posted only six sub-par scores in 15 rounds and none lower than 69 prior to this week.

"It hasn't been fun this year," he said. "I've been an angry man on the golf course. I'm fine before I get out there and I'm fine when I'm done but in between I've hated it. It's been frustrating."

Some of Mulroy's frustrations are the result of overanalysis of his game.

"Stop thinking about it," said Mulroy in trying to figure out the problems. "I think you've got to do your work on the range and then once you get on the course, just go with it. You can't be thinking about where your clubhead is during your swing. It happens too fast."

Mulroy's swing is returning to the form that carried him to a Nationwide Tour win last year and more than $263,000 in earnings.

"The last week to 10 days I've felt it's starting to come back," he said. "I came here to see how it would go in tournaments, playing when it counts. It's fine to go out there in a practice round but you're never really sure if you're going to feel comfortable when it's time to play."

Enloe was raring to go Friday afternoon following an excellent warm-up on the range, anxious to tackle the 7,006-yard layout.

"I was feeling so good," he said of his preparations. "I thought I was going to shoot 65 today if I didn't screw it up."

A three-putt on the first hole, followed by a bladed wedge that required a par-saving putt from 10 feet and a bogey on the fourth hole had him at 1-over to start and not exactly on track for a 65.

"I got off to one of those starts where I felt like I was missing opportunities left and right," he said. "It was pretty frustrating. I knew I had some holes where I thought I might be able to get it back to even or under-par."

It happened quickly. Enloe holed a 40-yard wedge shot on the par-5 fifth hole for eagle and then knocked in an 18-foot birdie putt on No. 6 to turn his day around.

"Chipping in was great," he said. "It really helps your momentum and state of mind."

Enloe was steady, not spectacular the rest of day before capping things off with a birdie to cut into Mulroy's lead.

Second-Round Notes:

* A total of 66 players made the 36-hole cut, which came at 1-under 141.

* Mark Hensby was disqualified when he did not show up for his Friday morning tee time. Cliff Bailey withdrew prior to the start of the second round. Garrett Osborn withdrew after nine holes.

* Defending champion Bubba Dickerson posted rounds of 76-70 (146) and did not make the cut.

* Darron Stiles and Andrew Buckle posted the lowest score of the first two days, 7-under 64s. Both players shot 74 in the opening round but now share 15th place.

* Major Manning 70-67 is 5-under through two days and is the only player in the field who has not made a bogey.

* Garth Mulroy, Charles Warren, Frank Lickliter lead the tournament with 12 birdies each.

* Matt Weibring aced the 175-yard, 11th hole using a 7-iron.

  Front 9 Back 9 Total
Round 1 35.826 36.250 72.076
Round 2 35.050 35.362 70.411

Scoring averages for the week: