Pair Share Top Spot


CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Brian Wilson posted a 6-under 66 Friday to take a share of the lead through two rounds of the Gila River Classic. Wilson stands at 11-under-par 133 alongside co-leader Johnson Wagner, who posted a 3-under 69.
Fran Quinn fired an 8-under 64 to move into a tie for third place. He is joined at 10-under-par 134 by Ryuji Imada, who shot a 66. That duo is one stroke clear of Ben Bates, last week's winner Scott Gutschewski and Wes Short.
Wilson opened his round on the back nine on the Cattail Course at Whirlwind Golf Club. He birdied the 12th from four feet, but struggled to a bogey at the next hole. He later birdied the par-5 17th from 10 feet out to get to 6-under.
Around the turn, Wilson ran off three consecutive birdies from the first to climb the leaderboard. He came back with a two-foot birdie at the fifth. He nearly holed his second shot to the eighth, but settled for a kick-in birdie from less than one-foot to grab a share of the lead.
'I'm just playing solid golf. I putted solid all day,' said Wilson, whose best career finish is a tie for second at the Price Cutter Charity Championship. 'I'm hitting some good shots. You've just got to keep playing aggressive.'
Wagner, the overnight leader, got going with back-to-back birdies from the second. He then bogeyed the fourth, but came right back with a birdie at the next.
He faltered to another bogey at the par-3 sixth. Wagner, a tour rookie, responded again with a birdie on No. 7. Around the turn, he birdied the 12th to get to 11-under.
The 23-year-old then slipped up with back-to-back bogeys from the 13th. He recovered to birdie the 15th from 15 feet out and closed out his round with a birdie at the last.
'It was an up-and-down day for me, so I'm happy with a 69,' Wagner said. 'I was a little nervous on the first few holes with the Golf Channel cameras right next to me, but overall I had a lot of fun out there.'
Tommy Tolles fired a 6-under 66 to move into a tie for eighth place. He is tied at 8-under-par 136 with Jeff Freeman, Lucas Glover, Jeff Gove, Eduardo Herrera, Tjaart van der Walt and Bubba Watson.
Tripp Isenhour, who had a hole-in-one on the 15th on Thursday, and Robin Freeman lead a group at 7-under-par 135.
The cut line fell at 3-under-par 141 with 68 players advancing to the weekend. David Branshaw, the defending champion, finished at minus-1 to miss the cut by two strokes.
Related Links:
  • Full-field scores from the Gila River Open
  • Full coverage - Gila River Open