Pernice Jr Flesch Crane Atop In Reno

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One of the PGA Tour's young guns, who came out firing yesterday, showed up today with nothing but blanks in his pistol at the Reno-Tahoe Open.
 
Charles Howell III, who had seven birdies against no bogies on Thursday, had all the fire-power of a cap gun in the second round shooting a 1-over par 73 and dropping four strokes off the pace.
 
A trio of players, Tom Pernice Jr., Steve Flesch and Ben Crane, now sit tied for the 36-hole lead at 10-under-par. Duffy Waldorf, Steve Allan and Jonathan Kaye are just a shot back at 9-under-par.
 
Twenty-one players are within five shots of the lead as they head into the weekend.
 
Flesch had the day's best round with an almost perfect 8-under 64. After getting it as low as 9-under for the day, he bogeyed his final hole, the par-4 18th.
 
Flesch, the left-hander who tied for 17th at last week's PGA Championship, couldn't complain though, except for a slight headache, as he was nearly flawless up until that point.
 
'The course record never crossed my mind. I was more worried about my headache out there than how I was playing. But next thing I knew, I shot 30 on the front nine,' said Flesch, who wore a bandage on the left wrist he injured two months ago hacking out of the thick rough at the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black.
 
'They always say look out for a guy who is sick or hurt. It sort of holds true today because my mind wasn't really on golf,' he said.

After pars on the first two holes, he went birdie-eagle-birdie on holes three through five, then closed out the front side with birdies on the eighth and ninth.
 
He continued the birdie fest at the 10th and 11th and added another on the 16th to get to 11-under before dropping a stroke at the last.
 
Pernice Jr., who has missed two of his last three cuts, followed up his first round 66 with an up-and-down 68 on Friday, good enough for a share of the lead. He posted three birdies on the front and another four on the back, but gave away three bogies in between to finish at 10-under.
 
Crane, also at 10-under, has been a model of consistency through 36-holes. Back-to-back 67s, both rounds that saw six birdies and a lone bogey, has him in position to improve on his second place showing at the Byron Nelson Classic in May, his best showing in this his rookie season.
 
'All I've got to rely on is a couple of wins on the Buy.Com Tour and a second at the Byron Nelson Classic,' said Crane, who is 74th on the money list at $662,621.
 
'That week I did a really great job of not looking at the leaderboard and staying in the present. That's really key for me on a week like this, to try to live in the moment and not get ahead of myself.'
 
Full-field scores from Reno-Tahoe Open