Coming off an opening-round 64 Thursday, the 27-year-old followed up with a 3-under 67 for a 36-hole of 9-under 131, good enough for a share of the lead with former PGA Tour member Joe Ogilvie. Rob McMillan of Winnipeg and Americans Ralph Gemoets and Jess Daley are three shots behind the leaders.
Play was called due to darkness at 6:24 p.m. CST with six players still on the course. They will complete their rounds Saturday morning before the field is cut to the low 60 scores plus ties.
Walking the 6,523-yard Barton Creek Crenshaw Cliffside layout with Tambellini on Valentines Day was his girlfriend, Alexa Von Starck. The pair met under somewhat unconventional circumstances two-and-a-half years ago. While visiting her sister in Sarnia, ON, Alexa was waiting to catch a plane home to Germany and decided to kill a few hours by driving to nearby Huron Oaks for the final round of the Tours 2000 Bayer Championship. She followed Tambellinis group and the two began chatting during a delay at a tee box. The couple stayed in touch through emails and phone calls, and now reside together in San Francisco.
It sure is extra special, leading a golf tournament and having Alexa here today, beamed Tambellini, who had a second-place showing at the Texas Classic last year. Well go out and have a fun time tonight and see what happens on the weekend.
After a bogey on his opening hole of the day, the par-4 10th, Tambellini reeled off birdies on six of his next seven holes on his way to 5-under 31 on his front nine. He ran into some trouble with three straight bogeys on the back side before bouncing back with a birdie two on the par-3 8th hole. Tambellini also played the three par-5 holes at 3-under for the day.
You look at the guys who win a lot of golf tournaments, and they are usually the guys that play the par-5s the best, he added. I was really down after those three bogeys, so had I not made that birdie on 17, I would have been really dissatisfied.'
Ogilvie, a conditional member on the Nationwide Tour this season, was granted a sponsors exemption into this event and is making the most of the opportunity. The 28-year-old Austin resident felt fortunate to be on the afternoon side of the draw Friday, when rains that had been falling off and on for two days finally ceased.
It was a good day- Roger by far had the worse side of the draw, admitted Ogilvie, whose career best on the PGA Tour was a T4 at the 2000 FedEx St. Jude Classic. Any of us that teed of this afternoon can count our blessings.
For the time being at least, Ogilvie is likely best remembered for his impressive display at the 2001 British Open. After qualifying for the event by virtue of his top-25 showing at the Advil Western Open, Ogilvie, a standout at Duke University, was well within striking distance of a major title before faltering down the stretch on the final day to wind up 25th.
I hope that isnt my crowning achievement in golf, to finish 25th at The British Open, he laughed. But it was a great experience, and one I will never forget.
Like Tambellini, McMillan had another reason to smile Friday. It was a year ago Friday that the three-time Canadian Tour champion became engaged to Nicole, his bride of five months. The two tied the knot back in September.
I think we are both a little tired today, we may celebrate our Valentines (Saturday), he said, nodding to his wife, who is also caddying for him this week. She had to haul that bag around here all day, and she looks like she could use a sleep. Its a special day for us, and being within three shots makes it a little more special.