Stuard, Flanagan share 36-hole lead at Price Cutter

Stan Badz/PGA TOUR
Nick Flanagan, who won the BMW Charity Pro-Am this year, shot a 66 on Friday afternoon.
August 10, 2012
Joe Chemycz, Tour staff

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Brian Stuard and Nick Flanagan both played better in the opening round of the Price Cutter Charity Championship than they did in the second round but the two still wound up in the same place, sharing the 36-hole lead at Highland Springs Country Club.


Stuard posted a 5-under 67 in the morning and grabbed the clubhouse lead at 12-under par and was later joined by Flanagan, who carded a 66 in the afternoon for a 132 total.

Jason Gore (68) and Monday qualifier Scott Harrington (68) are one shot off the pace heading into the weekend.

Texan Omar Uresti (68), Michael Letzig (69), Nicholas Thompson (64), Justin Bolli (67), Andres Gonzales (65) and David Lingmerth (67), who closed his day with four consecutive birdies, are two off the lead and tied for fifth place.

"I probably putted a little better today," said Stuard, who hit only nine fairways and 13 greens. "The wind definitely makes it trickier. I had to play a little more defensively on a couple of longer shots on par-4s. It's nice to see your name up there but there's still two more rounds."

Flanagan inched his way up the board despite a balky driver. This year's BMW Charity Pro-Am winner hit only five of 14 fairways.

"It was definitely erratic off the tee today but I made up for it with a few clutch putts and just kind of got it done out there today," said the 28-year-old Australian. "It wasn't impressive."

Flanagan held it together and turned an average round into a good one by canning four putts from over 20 feet. His longest was a 35-footer for eagle.

"It's stressful at points," he admitted. "It would be nice to hit it to 10 feet on every hole and just move on but that's how I play sometimes. As long as the putter's working it makes up for it but I'm going to need to hit it better over the weekend to stay up there."

Stuard, on the other hand, cashed in seven birdie putts but none longer than eight feet.

"You have to keep the pedal to the metal and that isn't easy for me," he said. "You see a lot of guys that can do it real easy but I'm more of a consistent player so it's nice to make a bunch of birdies."

Gore, the Tour's all-time victory leader with seven, jumped to the top of the head early in the day when he turned the back nine in 5-under after making a 12-foot eagle putt at No. 18 but didn't over think his good play.

"I was just worried about getting over to number one," he said. "You know you've got another par-5 coming. Don't take a rest out here because nobody else is. You've got to keep going."

Gore's fine play stalled out when the putts refused to fall on his inward half.

"I did have some good looks and some good chances. The putts that were going in yesterday and early today burned the edges on that side," he said. "You can't get frustrated, you move on. I made putts I shouldn't have made and missed putts I shouldn't have missed."

Second-Round Notes

• A total of 67 players made the 36-hole cut, which came at 5-under 139. This is the fifth straight year the cut has been 5-under par.

• The last time the 36-hole leader was as high as 12-under par was in 2000. The halfway leader has been between 13- and 16-under each of the past 11 years. Steve Friesen was 14-under par last year en route to winning the title.

• Third-round play will be in twosomes off the first tee starting at 7:18 a.m. Play is scheduled to be completed approximately 4:00 p.m.

• Newcomer Ben Kohles kept his hopes alive to make it three wins in his first three professional starts. The 22-year old from Cary, N.C., bogeyed the par-5, 18th to close his day with a 2-under 70 but made the 36-hole cut on the number (-5). Kohles won the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational in a playoff two weeks ago in his professional debut and then backed that up with a three-stroke victory at last week's Cox Classic presented by Lexus of Omaha to become the first player in Tour history to win his first two pro starts.

• Luke Guthrie kept his red-hot summer going with a 5-under 67 Friday. The two-time Big 10 Player of the Year from Illinois is in a pile of 10 players tied for 11th at 9-under 135. Guthrie is making his sixth professional start after closing out his career at this year's NCAA Championships. Guthrie is a perfect 6-for-6 in cuts made, three on the PGA TOUR and now three straight on the Tour. While Ben Kohles has grabbed the headlines with back-to-back wins in two weeks, Guthrie has been right on his heels, losing a playoff two weeks ago at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational and finishing in a tie for third at last week's Cox Classic, where he shared the 54-hole lead.

• Despite the low numbers and proliferation of eagles and birdies, no player in the field has managed to play the first 36 holes without a bogey.

• Leading money-winner Casey Wittenberg birdied his final hole to shoot a 1-under 71 and make the 36-hole cut on the number.

• Lefty B.J. Staten rallied late to advance to the weekend, finishing eagle-birdie on the front nine. His 3-3 on the scorecard put him in the house at 5-under-par 139.

• Jose Toledo, the second-to-last to get into the starting field of 156, leads the tournament with 14 birdies. Toledo is 9-under after two days and T11. He entered the week No. 187 on the money list, having earned just $3,558 in six starts this year.

• First-round leader Matt Hendrix fired an even-par 72 to remain at 9-under par. Hendrix opened with three pars before giving five shots back on his next three on the front nine, dropping him to 4-under for the tournament. He rallied with four birdies and an eagle the rest of the way and is tied for 11th heading into Saturday's third round.

• Nicholas Thompson had a pair of eagles on par-5s today. Thompson eagled No. 8 and No. 11 en route to an 8-under 64. He is 10-under and shares fifth place.

• Soboba Golf Classic winner Andres Gonzales chalked up eight birdies in his first 13 holes and was 11-under par before stumbling with a double-bogey at the par-3, 15th hole. Gonzales finished up with a birdie on his last hole of the day for a 7-under 65. He is minus-10 and tied for fifth.

• Stadion Classic at UGA champion Hudson Swafford turned on the burners at the end of his round again today. Swafford was even-par for the day through his first 14 holes before finishing B-B-B-E for a 5-under 67. He is at 6-under par 138 (T35). Swafford was 3-over after 13 holes in Thursday's opener before a late run of four birdies in his final five holes, including three in a row to close out a 1-under 71.

• Brice Garnett had a pair of eagles en route to a 4-under 68. Garnett eagled the par-5, 11th hole and then holed his second shot at the par-4, 3rd hole. Garnett wound up missing the cut.

• Sponsor exemption Jason Schultz also had a pair of eagles on par-5s. Schultz eagled No. 8 and No. 11 and shot a 68 in round two but missed the cut by three strokes.

2005 Roger Tambellini 68-68--138 (-8) T22
2006 Doug LaBelle 67-70--137 (-7) T27
2007 Tom Scherrer 72-77--149 (+5) m/c
2009 Justin Bolli 67-67--134 (-10) T5
2011 Steve Friesen 72-71--143 (-1) T113

• Five of the past seven Price Cutter Charity Championship winners were entered this week:

• Sam Saunders withdrew during the second round due to shoulder problems.

• The best rounds of the day: 64 -- Philip Pettitt, Nicholas Thompson 65 -- Andres Gonzales 66 -- Nick Flanagan

• Brent Delahoussaye was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard.

Round Front 9 (36) Back 9 (36) Total (72)
R1 34.846 34.846 69.692
R2 35.740 35.455 71.195

• Course statistics this week:

• The Tour next moves to the Kansas City area for the Midwest Classic presented by Cadillac. The tournament will be held at the Nicklaus Golf Course at LionsGate in Overland Park, Kan. Aug. 13-19.