Hensby Grabs 36-Hole Lead


BOISE, Idaho -- Mark Hensby fired a second round 66 Friday to claim the lead at 9-under 133 at the Buy.Com Boise Open. Jason Gore, Greg Gregory, and Patrick Moore trail Hensby by one stroke.
First-round leader Brian Kamm struggled to a 1-over 72 and is tied for fifth at 6-under. Gavin Coles and Chad Wright join Kamm at 136 through two rounds at the Hillcrest Country Club.
Hensby, who began on the back nine, carded five birdies without a bogey. He opened with birdies on the 11th and 12th. On the par four 11th, Hensby hit a 9-iron within five feet and then knocked a wedge inside 15-feet on 12.
'I drove the ball nicely, and played well overall,' said Hensby. 'I've never played well here and you know you're going to have to play well, because this is a demanding course.'
After parring out for a opening 33, he birdied the second and third holes, which are back-to-back par-5. On the second, he two-putted from 35-feet. Then on the third, Hensby hit his third shot within three feet before making the putt. His final birdie came on a 20-footer at the sixth.
'This course takes the driver out of your hand,' Hensby said. 'I like hitting driver. The objective is to play well and keep improving.'
Hensby takes a lead into the weekend for the fourth time in his career. He is seeking his third-career Buy.Com victory, with the last coming at the 2000 Buy.Com Carolina Classic.
Gore, who claimed last week's Buy.Com Oregon Classic, and Gregory each had an opportunity to tie for or take the lead, but each posted a pair of bogeys on their second nine. Moore posted six birdies in a 10-hole stretch, but it was his bogey at the 11th that kept him from tying the leader.
'You have to realize last was last week and this is a new week,' said Gore. 'I am very confident right now. We are in the stretch run so you have to stay in the moment and get the job done.'
Kamm, who had missed his previous 10 cuts, had four bogeys and three birdies en route to his 72. Coles made the biggest jump of the day, posting a 6-under 65 after opening with an even-par 71. Wright opened with a pair of bogeys, but he finished strong. He birdied the final three holes to get within three shots of the leader.
Moore, Cliff Kresge, and Arron Oberholser, who are tied with two others at minus-5, have each won twice on the Buy.Com Tour this season. Three-time winners get the automatic Battlefield Promotion to the PGA Tour. Four players have previously gained this promotion -- Chris Smith in 1997 and Heath Slocum, Chad Campbell and Pat Bates in 2001.
Barry Cheesman and Eric Meeks are also at 5-under. Emlyn Aubrey, Andrew McLardy and Jay Delsing are one stroke behind them at minus-four.
Last season's champion, Michael Long, gained his PGA Tour card as he finished in the top 15 on the Buy.Com Tour. Tjaart Van Der Walt, the 2001 runner-up, struggled and missed the cut by seven strokes after carding an opening round 76, and following that with a 73 on Friday.
Full-field scores from the Boise Open