By Greg Deal
Shorelines Editor & Publisher
MCCORMICK, S.C. – Brian Richey said after posting a first-round 66 that there was still a long way to go in the NGA Tour’s Savannah Lakes Village Classic. That “long way” is starting to look a bit shorter now.
It helps when you can string birdies together in trios, too.
Richey, of Lakeland, Fla., posted a 65 on Friday in the second round of the tournament at the Monticello club to extend his lead to four strokes. He sits at 13 under par, ahead of Jonathan Hodge and J.C. Horne, who are both tied at 9-under for the tournament.
No one is getting too comfortable, though. Good weather and a pristine course are offering many chances for birdies and a few eagles – and no lead is safe when the course is this inviting.
Richey started the second round with a birdie then birdied the par-5 third before giving a stroke back on the par-3 fourth. It was his first bogey of the tournament. His big move came at the 9th, 10th and 11th. He birdied all three holes, and added birdies on the 15th and 17th.
The Classic is being played through Sunday on the beautiful lakeside Monticello course in Savannah Lakes Village, which borders South Carolina and Georgia. The projected cut was at 1-under, with 35 players above the line. Tee times for the third round start at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, with the leaders teeing off later that morning.
Visit NGATour.com for tee times and complete scoring, plus scorecards for all players, and precise tee times.
To see a day full of pictures from Round 2, visit Shorelines Magazine’s Flickr page HERE.
Hodge, from Strawberry Plains, Tenn., matched Richey’s 65 on Friday. Coupled with his 70 from Thursday, he stands four strokes back with Horne, of Jacksonville, Fla., who shot a 68 on Friday to go with Thursday’s 67.
Tyson Alexander (Gainesville, Fla.), who already has a tour win this year, is at 8 under par, and Clayton Rask, of Ostego, Minn., is alone at 7-under. Rask had one of the most exciting plays of the day, driving the par-4 7th to within five feet of the pin and then sinking his putt for an eagle.
Two players are tied at 6-under, and there is a major logjam at 5-under, with eight players tied for the spot. Six more players are tied at 4-under. Greenwood, S.C., native Vince Hatfield is among those at 4-under.
Kevin Hall, a deaf player on the tour, is among those tied at 5-under. Hall is a big favorite among Savannah Lakes Village faithful. He has participated in leading the Junior Golf Clinic for area youths for several years. The clinic takes place during the weeklong buildup to tournament play.