Walnut Creek Championship continues today
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on May 8, 2009 1:46 PM
An early-morning thunderstorm delayed second-round play of the Walnut Creek Championship and several golfers couldn't complete their 18-hole round on the Ellis Maples-designed course Thursday.
Those golfers returned to the Walnut Creek links this morning in hopes of making the cut and advancing to weekend play. The top 60 players (including ties) will play the final 36 holes and compete for prize money totalling $300,000 -- one of the biggest purses offered on the eGolf Professional Tour this season.
Hometown favorite Andy Crain will likely miss the cut.
The Goldsboro native carded a second-round 72 and dropped to even par after 36 holes. The projected cut for weekend play is 3-under.
"I hit the ball everywhere today," said Crain. "I had a chance with three or four holes to go to get back in it and I just hit a couple of really bad shots."
After starting the round with two birdies in his first four holes, Crain began to lose his hold on the driver. The former full-time professional player made the turn at even par, but missed an opportunity to get up and down on the second hole and took a bogey.
"I missed some shots today in places where you just can't miss," said Crain. "The greens were really receptive because of the rain and I just didn't do a good job of capitalizing."
A birdie on the par five fifth hole appeared to turn Crain's round in a positive direction, but an errant tee shot on the par-4 No. 6 halted the momentum.
Crain selected a 3-wood but missed the fairway and found the trees on the right side of the hole. A bad break in the form of a pine cone leaning against the ball instigated a safe punch shot back in play. From 145 yards, Crain blasted a bunker shot approximately 20 feet behind the pin and narrowly missed the comeback putt.
"I had another good look at seven and I missed the putt," said Crain. "And at eight I hit a terrible tee shot and then put it on the green, but again I just missed a putt that slid more at the hole than I expected."
One of the players who found the soft conditions to his liking was Andy Bare, who fired a second-round 62. The 9-under score was actually one of two 62s shot by players who finished 36 holes.
"I thought the greens were about the same as they were the first day," said Bare. "I think starting on the front side was an advantage today, too, because I was able to play relatively fast and get in a good rhythm."
The day's other 62 was carded by Brian Anderson, who enjoyed the day's most exciting string of holes. Anderson birdied eight of the nine holes on the front side for an eye-catching 28, which he paired with a 34 on the back nine.
Among the players who have turned in 36-hole scores, Matt Mincer is the leader at 12-under 130. Travis Perkins and Michael Henderson currently sit two shots back at 10-under 128.
Tournament officials hope to complete third-round play today. The final round begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Tournament admission is free to the public.
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