Hoffman Hearn Tied at Permian Basin


04 Permian Basin Charity Golf Classic MIDLAND, Texas -- Charley Hoffman fired the lowest round of the day on Friday with a 5-under 67. That was good enough to put him in a tie for the lead with David Hearn, who shot a 70, after two rounds of the Permian Basin Charity Golf Classic.
The duo stands knotted at 5-under-par 139 and own a two-shot lead over James Driscoll and Steve Alker, both of whom posted rounds of 3-under 69, at Midland Country Club.
Hoffman, who currently holds the 60th place on the money list and the final spot in the Nationwide Tour Championship, wasted little time in breaking into red figures on Friday. He ran home a 6-footer for birdie at the second, then made it back-to-back birdies with an 18-footer at the third. Hoffman tallied his third birdie in a row at the fourth, but found trouble at the next hole.
His drive landed in the left rough and he failed to save par at the fifth, but Hoffman rebounded with a 10-foot birdie putt at No. 6. He closed his front nine with a chip-in birdie at the eighth to go out at 4-under-par 32.
Hoffman did not get off to a good start on the second nine. His approach at No. 10 landed 70 feet from the hole and he three-putted for a bogey. Hoffman parred his next four holes, but strong play over his final four holes got him a piece of the 36-hole lead.
At the 601-yard, par-5 15th, Hoffman reached the green in two with a 4-iron and two-putted for birdie. He hit a wedge to 10 feet to set up birdie at the 17th and get into a share of the top spot.
'If there's a problem with my game, it's not hitting the fairway, but I kept it in play all day,' said Hoffman, who hit 12 of 14 fairways on Friday. 'Par if good out here. I'll try to go out and finish one on the weekend.'
Hearn opened on the back nine Friday and sank a 25-foot birdie putt at the 10th. He added back-to-back 8-foot birdie putts at 12 and 13, then rolled in an 18-foot birdie putt at the 17th hole to reach 7 under par for the championship.
Hearn struggled from that point. His 6-iron approach at the 18th sailed over the green, but his chip only came up 12 feet short. Hearn missed his par putt, but still held the lead.
On his second nine, Hearn played solidly with seven consecutive pars. At the 224-yard, par-3 eighth, Hearn hit his 5-iron into the front bunker. He blasted out to 10 feet, but failed to save par, thus falling into a tie for the lead.
'I got my birdies early and tried to stay aggressive on the back nine,' said Hearn, who occupies the 34th spot on the tour's money list. 'I really only made two mistakes and apart from that, I kept trying to hit it close.'
Matthew Jones carded a 4-under 68 and shares fifth place with Brad Fabel, who posted a 1-under 71, at 2-under-par 142.
Overnight co-leaders Eduardo Herrera and Jeff Gove each shot rounds of 3-over-par 75 and are tied for seventh place with Mathew Goggin (70), two-time winner this season Kevin Stadler (71) and Craig Lile (71). The group is knotted at minus-1.
The 36-hole cut fell at 4-over-par 148 with 61 players advancing to the weekend.
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