Biershenk On Top in Tennessee


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Tommy Biershenk posted a 6-under 66 on Friday to take the lead during the second round of the Chattanooga Classic. He stands at 13-under-par 131 and leads by one over Rob Bradley and Jason Bohn.
Darkness forced the suspension of the second round as another weather delay stopped play Friday for close to two hours. There were two weather stoppages on Thursday that forced the first round to be completed Friday morning.
The 13 players who were unable to complete their second round on Friday will return to Black Creek Club Saturday morning at 7:15 AM (ET) with the 36-hole cut to take place after that.
Ryan Palmer (68), Tom Carter (67) and Kyle Thompson (66) are tied for fourth place at 11-under-par 133.
Biershenk began his second round on the back nine at Black Creek Club and was even par until he reached the par-5 18th, his ninth hole on Friday. He holed a 20-foot putt for eagle which kick-started his strong play the rest of the round.
Biershenk tallied birdies at two and four and closed out his round with back-to-back birdies at eight and nine to take sole possession of first place.
'I told my caddie, 'let's get out there on the second nine and play like we did yesterday,'' said Biershenk, who opened with a 65 on Thursday. 'I hit a lot of good shots, made a couple of birdies and ended up turning it into a good round.'
Biershenk has teed it up 14 times so far in 2003 on the Nationwide Tour but has made only three cuts. His best finish so far has been a tie for 59th but Biershenk has felt his confidence grow in recent weeks.
'I know my confidence is getting better,' said Biershenk. 'I started out a little sloppy today but I've got a lot of confidence in my putter right now. I said yesterday I wanted to play two good rounds. Now, I'd like to make it four.'
Bradley switched to the belly putter this week and Friday it paid off, as he collected two eagles, five birdies and three bogeys for a round of 6-under- par 66.
'The last five or six weeks have been bad,' said Bradley, who finished two rounds at 12-under-par 132. 'I've been striking it well but hadn't made a lot lately. I like the theory of anchoring it into my chest so I figured I'd give it a whirl.'
Bohn recorded six birdies and a bogey on Friday for a 5-under 67.
Bohn began the 2003 campaign with no status but after losing a playoff to Tom Carter at the Canadian PGA Championship, he has earned enough money to become a special temporary member.
'I'm in a position where I'm riding a great train right now,' said Bohn. 'The last six weeks have completely changed my schedule.'
First-round co-leader Ted Purdy shot a 2-under 70 and is tied for seventh place with Ken Duke (65), Jim Benepe (67) and Tommy Tolles (67). The group stands at 10-under-par 134.
The other first-round co-leaders Chad Wilfong and Jimmy Green struggled on Friday. Wilfong carded a 1-under 71 and is tied for 11th at 9-under par, while Green shot a 1-over 73 and shares 22nd at minus-7.
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