Hanging on to a slim one-stroke cushion as play began, the 23-year-old Scottsdale resident carded a 4-under 68 for a 36-hole total of 131 and leads Iain Steel of Malaysia by four shots. Roger Tambellini (Templeton, Calif.) and James Driscoll (Brookline, Mass.) are five off the lead. Victorias Jim Rutledge is in fifth spot at 7-under.
Two years ago, Quinney held off Driscoll in a 39-hole marathon to capture the U.S. Amateur championship. On Friday, Driscoll actually led Quinney by two shots late in the round before double bogeys on the 15th and 17th led to an even-par 72. After being even through eleven holes, Quinney birdied three of his final four coming home.
I just got off to a slow start today, admitted Quinney, who has been under par in each of his ten rounds on Tour this year. I was hitting some good shots, and I just had to wait to catch a break. Im just trying to keep this game simple, but you have to be happy any time you can finish strong. Ill try to carry the momentum into Saturday.
With past U.S. Amateur stars Steve Scott and Hank Kuehne winning the first two official events of this Canadian Tour campaign, Quinney would like to complete the hat trick this weekend. But while he and his former colleagues have enjoyed success early, Quinney is cautious about the spotlight being on them.
It seems like all the U.S. Am guys are near the top, and we all seem to be peaking at the same time. But there are a lot of guys going low, and trust me, these guys can play this game. There are a lot of great players here, and I am going to have to stay aggressive.
Steel, who played the PGA Tour in 1998 and won on the Buy.com Tour the year before, arrived in Scottsdale on Monday from Malaysia.
I am still suffering from a bit of jet lag, and to make matters worse, my allergies are acting up, said Steel, who earned a Canadian Tour card at Winter Qualifying School in February. So all in all, I am happy with my round. I hope I can say the same on Sunday.
Driscoll, who gave up four shots to Quinney Friday, was disappointed with his finish but remained upbeat following the round.
There is definitely some penalties out there is you arent careful, said the 24-year-old. But Ive had my fair share of birdies - I just have to eliminate some of those mistakes. If I can stay out of trouble Ill be fine.
Tambellini, who is exempted onto the Buy.Com Tour this year, had the low round of the day with a 6-under 66. Rutledge, a six-time Canadian Tour winner, will also join the Buy.Com Tour when it kicks off in Louisiana in two weeks.
I was pretty good from tee-to-green today, and I think I got what I deserved today, he said, referring to his 3-under 69. This course is in great shape, so Ill be like everyone else this weekend and just keep firing away. You have to stay aggressive.
Full-field scores from the Scottsdale Swing at McCormick Ranch