Heading into play co-leading with five others, the 1998 Northeast amateur champion fired a 7-under 64 at the Keswick Club for a 36-hole total of 13-under 129 and a one shot lead over Chris Wisler (Dover, Del.). Virginia native Cameron Yancey, who received a sponsors exemption into the event, is three strokes back. David Hearn of Brantford, ON is four off the pace.
Just as he had in his opening round, Harris, 24, was quick out of the gate Friday, with birdies on his first three holes. On the par-5 third, Harris snaked home a 45-foot putt from the back fringe to get him to 3-under for the day.
Eighteen greens - that is all you can really say, said Harris following his bogey-free round. When you are putting for birdie 18 times, things seem to work themselves out.
As he goes into the weekend in search of his first professional win, Harris doesnt plan on changing his approach with a slim one-shot lead.
Theres 36 holes left - anything can happen on one hole, let alone 36. Ill go in with the attitude that it is the first hole on the first day, and take it from there. There is still a lot of work to do.
Coming off a tie for tenth at the Buy.Com Tours BMW Charity Pro Am in Greenville, SC two weeks ago, Wisler seems to be firing on all cylinders this week. On Friday, he canned a seemingly impossible 100-foot birdie putt on the final hole to get to 12-under.
To be honest, I just kind of closed my eyes and hit it. It was just one of those days where things went my way, admitted Wisler. I would have been more than happy with a two-putt from there. To see it fall in the cup, well, that is just a great way to walk off the golf course.
The Canadian Tours eighth official event of the season is named in honour of Lewis Chitengwa, a popular 26-year-old tour rookie who passed away suddenly last summer in Edmonton from meningococcemia, a strain of meningitis. Yancey, a close friend of Chitengwa while the two starred at the University of Virginia, feels the perfect tribute to his late friend would be to hold the championship trophy high come Sunday afternoon.
Its tough in a way being here, since this event is in memory of a good buddy, but it also shows he was a well-liked guy and that he hasnt been forgotten, said the 22-year-old, who made his first cut in three pro events Friday. It would mean a lot to play well here. If Im lucky, hes looking down right now and is going to try to give me some bounces this weekend.
Brennan Webb of Bracebridge, ON, also a close friend of Chitengwas, is playing his best golf of the year and is at 7-under. Farai Chitengwa, the 15-year-old younger brother of Lewis, missed the cut playing as an amateur.
With Canadians Rob McMillan and Derek Gillespie having won the past two tour events, the first back-to-back Canadian winners since 1997, Hearn would like nothing better than to complete the tours version of a Triple Crown in Charlottesville.
With Ron and Derek winning, I think that has allowed us to feed off each other, he said. The first part of the year, the American guys dominated - now it seems the guys from home are getting the job done. Hopefully, we can carry that with us when we head up to Canada (next month).
Full Coverage of the Lewis Chitengwa Memorial