Players representing six countries joined their fellow American competitors for three minutes of silence at 12:20 p.m., as play was literally halted at Huron Oaks Golf Club with most players from the morning draw still on the course. Over a thousand people stood solemnly with heads bowed in front of the main scoreboard, while flags flew at half-mast. Similar tributes are planned before play on Saturday and Sunday.
Steve Scott of Wellington, Fla., carded an 8-under-par 63 and sits at 11-under through two days for a one shot lead over fellow Floridian Steve Pleis. Jace Bugg (Henderson, Kent.) and Rich Massey (Harrington Park, N.J.) are two shots back, while Calgarys Brett Bingham and Dave Pashko of Richmond Hill, ON are the top Canadians at 8-under.
Scott, 24, who finished second in the 1996 U.S. Amateur Championship, birdied six of his first seven holes and needed just 20 putts in Fridays round.
All in all, I think that was a pretty good round, said the 2001 TELUS Vancouver Open champion, managing a smile in what to date has been a difficult week, particularly for the U.S. golfers . I hit a lot of 10 and 15 footers today. At one point I was thinking 59, but not to the point where it was messing my game up.
Pleis will pair up with Scott in the final grouping of the day Saturday, and had it not been for back-to-back bogeys on the 15th and 16th holes Friday, it could have been the 34-year-old atop the leaderboard heading into the third round.
If I can do what I have been the past few days, Ill have a chance, maintained Pleis, who trailed leader Rob Johnson by two shots as play began Friday. Ive hit the ball well the last five weeks, I just havent made the putts. Those putts have gone in over the last two days, and thats been the difference.
Mikkel Reese (Chandler, Ariz.), who began his day on the tenth tee and was 3-over at the turn, fired a 7-under 28 on the front nine, highlighted by an ace on the 205-yard, par-3 5th.
I think Ill ask Ray (tournament director Horne) if I can play the front nine twice tomorrow, he laughed. That 28 allowed me to make the cut, so now I get the chance to try to do it again.
Seventy-two players shot 1-under or better and will play for the $32,000 top prize on the weekend. The Bayer Championship is the final full-field event on the Canadian Tour schedule.
Full-field scores from the Bayer Championship