Tambellini maintais lead at halfway mark in Wichita

Chris Condon/PGA TOUR
Tambellini has the top two money earners on the Nationwide Tour chasing him on the leaderboard.
June 17, 2011
Phil Stambaugh, Nationwide Tour staff

WICHITA, Kan. -- For the second straight day, Roger Tambellini got a little bit of good luck and the end result was a second-round 65 and 12-under 130 36-hole total, one stroke better than three of the 2011 Nationwide Tour's best players --Australia's Mathew Goggin (65), Troy Kelly (64) and Kyle Thompson (64) through two days of the Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open.


Tambellini's drive on the 456-yard, par-4, 7th hole (his 16th hole) got a fortuitous bounce off a cart path and propelled the ball on the green 20 feet from the hole. He then two-putted for the birdie that eventually maintained his slim lead.

"It was a fun day and hopefully the weekend will be fun. When you are playing like this, you want to keep going," Tambellini said. "I wasn't really sure if I hit the cart path until I heard it click. I've never done anything like that before."

Even though Tambellini's two-round total matched the second-lowest 36-hole score of his Nationwide Tour career, he doesn't have much breathing room. His closest pursuers include the circuit's top-two leading money-winners, Goggin and Kelly, and Thompson, last week's winner at The Rex Hospital Open. In fact, six of the top eight players on the leader board are currently among the Nationwide Tour's "The 25".

"I'm playing well and its' great to be in this position," Goggin said. "I'll try to take advantage of the weekend and hopefully have a chance to win on Sunday."

"This is getting to be pretty fun, getting into the mix two weeks in a row," said Thompson. "I'm very comfortable with my game right now. It wasn't easy today but it was a solid round of golf. I've really got so much confidence now. Hopefully I can keep this rolling."

Four other players are four strokes off the pace, including Scott Brown (65) and Martin Flores (65), who both finished T2 last week in Raleigh, NC at The Rex Hospital Open, Australia's Andrew Buckle (67), currently sitting 25th on the 2011 Nationwide Tour money list, and South Korea's Jin Park (64) who had only made one cut coming into this week, a T21 at the Melwood Prince George's County Open.

Kelly got to 11-under early in the day and was the leader in the clubhouse for most of the second round. After playing the last 3 ½ holes this morning and completing his first round at 4-under 67, he went out again after a short break and manufactured a 7-under round that included making a 45-foot birdie putt at the par-3 8th hole and holing a 30-yard pitch shot for a deuce at the par-4 11th hole.

"I've now actually holed-out three times this week and that really helps get the round going," Kelly said. "The long putt at No. 8 got me going and overall it was a real solid day for me. I've been playing real steady and I'd just like to keep doing the things I've been doing."

Second-Round Notes:

• Friday's weather: 2/3 of an inch of rain fell on the course overnight; sunny with highs in the mid-90s and SE winds throughout the day at 10-20 mph.

• A total of 65 players made the 36-hole cut, which came at 2-under-par 140. It was the lowest 36-hole cut in relation to par thus far on the 2011 Nationwide Tour.

• Second-round leader/co-leaders have gone on to win this event nine times in the previous 21 years. The last to do so was Scott Piercy in 2008. 36-hole leaders/co-leaders have won twice in the previous eight tournaments on the 2011 Nationwide Tour.

• This is the third time in his Nationwide Tour career that Roger Tambellini has been leading or tied for the lead after 36 holes and he went on to win on both of the previous occasions -- T1/2003 Albertson's Boise Open, 1/Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic. Tambellini is also the first person since Keoke Cotner (2004) to be in sole possession of both the 18- and 36-hole lead at the Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open.

• There were two DQs today. Local favorite Dustin Garza disqualified himself from the event on Friday morning after discovering he had signed an incorrect scorecard on Thursday. Garza made a par-5 at the 14th hole and signed for a 4. Bryan DeCorso was disqualified for violating Rule 15-3, Wrong Ball. DeCorso hit a shot from out-of-bounds at No. 7 and did not correct his mistake prior to hitting his tee shot on No. 8.

Paul Claxton and Gary Christian both extended their streaks of par/better rounds to 14 consecutive, the best runs of the year on the Nationwide Tour. Both players carded 1-under 70s today.

Josh Geary's E-B-B-B-B (6-under/#14-18) streak was the best eagle-birdie run on the 2011 Nationwide Tour. Brent Long eagled both par-5s on the back nine today (Nos. 14, 18). He became the 15th different player with a pair of eagles in a round this year.

• A total of 60 players shot rounds in the 60s today compared to 48 in Round 1. The second-round scoring average was 70.659 compared to 69.084 on Friday last year.

John Riegger withdrew due to injury after playing 9 holes of his second round.

Friday First-Round Notes:

• 69 players returned to the course Friday morning to complete their first round. Here is how the leader board looked after the completion of Round 1: 1. Roger Tambellini 64 (-7) 2. Matt Davidson 65 (-6) 3. Matthew Goggin 66 (-5) Kevin Johnson 66 (-5) Peter Lonard 66 (-5) B.J. Staten 66 (-5) Brett Waldman 66 (-5)

• Bogey-free rounds in Round 1: Matt Davidson (65), Matthew Goggin (66), Kevin Johnson (66), Vance Veazey (68), Bradley Iles (69)

• The first-round scoring average for the par-71 course was 71.135, the highest at Crestview Country Club since par was changed from 70 to 71 in 2003.