Olsen Moves to Head of the Class


PGA Tour (75x100)LA QUINTA, Calif. -- Dan Olsen, who earned his PGA Tour playing privileges through this event last year, fired a 7-under 65 Thursday to move into the lead after two rounds of the PGA Tour Qualifying School. Olsen stands at 9-under-par 135.
Phillip Price, a three-time winner on the European Tour, posted a 3-under 69 in the second round. He shares second place at 8-under-par 136 with Greg Owen (64), David McKenzie (64), Rob Rashell (68), D.J. Trahan (69) and Omar Uresti (68).
These 169 players are battling in this 108-hole event for top-30 honors, which would earn them PGA Tour cards for 2005. Players who finish out of the top-30, but in the top-80, will receive full exempt 2005 Nationwide Tour status, while the remaining players are non-exempt members on the 2005 Nationwide Tour.
Play is spread over both the Stadium Course at PGA West and the Nicklaus Tournament Course throughout the six rounds. The start of Round 2, like the beginning of Round 1, was delayed due to frost.
Olsen played the back nine at the Nicklaus Tournament Course first and opened with a birdie at the 11th. He dropped in back-to-back birdies from the 14th to get to 5 under.
The 37-year-old birdied the 18th and made it two straight as he picked up his fifth birdie at the first. Olsen stumbled to a bogey at the fifth. He bounced back with a birdie at the par-4 sixth. The Indiana University alum then eagled the par-5 seventh to jump to minus-9. He parred his final two holes to remain in the lead.
'Today was fun. I made some putts. I made enough putts today for a week,' said Olsen. 'It is too hard of a game if you don't make putts. I hit a couple of bad shots yesterday and weaseled out of them. Over there, at the TPC Stadium Course, you just have to take your medicine. If guys don't like taking their medicine they're going to make some big numbers. If you know you don't have to be perfect, it helps.'
The Englishman Owen picked up four birdies and one bogey over his first nine. On the front side at the Nicklaus Tournament Course, he carded three more birdies and an eagle for his round of 64.
McKenzie, who finished 23rd on the Nationwide Tour money list in 2004, ran off seven consecutive birdies from the par-5 fourth on the Nicklaus Tournament Course to move to minus-7 overall. He came back with a birdie on 13 before parring his final five holes to share second place.
PGA Tour player Esteban Toledo (67) and Brian Davis (65), a two-time winner on the European Tour, share eighth place at 7-under-par 137. They are joined there by David Hearn (64) and Mario Tiziani (67). Hearn was one of the biggest movers of the day, climbing from 107th to eighth with his 64.
Dean Wilson and Brian Kortan are one stroke further back at minus-6.
First-round leader and former PGA Tour player Scott Gump struggled to a 2-over 74 in the second round. He fell into a share of 16th place at 4-under-par 140.
Ken Green and Aaron Barber, who shared sixth place entering the second round, both fell well off the pace. Green and Barber dropped into a tie for 103rd after rounds of 5-over 77.
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