Pride Vaults to the Top in Cleveland


2005 Cleveland OpenCLEVELAND, Ohio -- Former PGA Tour winner Dicky Pride posted a 5-under 66 on Friday to take the lead midway through the Cleveland Open. He stands at 9-under-par 133 and is ahead by two at StoneWater Golf Club.
Australia's Matthew Jones shot a 6-under 65 on Friday and is alone in second place at minus-7. Ahmad Bateman (66) and Garrett Willis (67) are knotted in third place at 6-under-par 136.
Pride, one of four first-round co-leaders, started on the back nine and parred his first two holes. He knocked an 8-iron to 17 feet to set up birdie at the 12th, then ran home a 12-footer for birdie at the 15th. Pride parred out on his opening nine for a 2-under 34.
At the first, Pride hit a 5-iron to 25 feet and sank the birdie putt to get to 7 under par for the tournament. Pride hit a rescue club to 12 feet with his second shot at the par-5 fourth and converted the eagle putt to get to minus-9.
He parred No. 5 and looked poised to add another birdie at the par-3 sixth. Pride's tee ball stopped 10 feet from the hole, but the 1994 St. Jude Classic winner on the PGA Tour three-putted for a bogey.
He reclaimed the lost stroke with an 8-footer for birdie at the seventh. Pride parred out and is in solid position to collect his first Nationwide Tour win.
'The golf course is playing very difficult and I'm playing very solid,' said Pride. 'The greens are in such good shape, you can trust your read. You can expect it to go where you want it to.'
Pride is currently 40th on the Nationwide Tour money list and is working hard to get back to the PGA Tour.
'My goal is to play and improve and finish in the top-20,' admitted Pride, who tied for third at this year's Henrico County Open. 'There have been a couple of rough stretches in there, but I'm improving.'
Todd Demsey shot a 65 on Friday and is alone in fifth place at minus-5.
Chad Collins, who shared the opening-round lead, managed an even-par 71 and is part of a group tied for sixth place. Greg Chalmers (67), Tom Scherrer (69), David McKenzie (70), Brian Smock (69) and Jeff Burns (67) joined Collins at 4-under-par 138.
Jason Dufner and Guy Boros, the remaining co-leaders from Thursday, each shot rounds of 2-over 73 and are part of a group tied for 21st at minus-2.
The 36-hole cut came at 1-over-par 143 and 69 players advanced to the weekend.
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - Cleveland Open
  • Full Coverage - Cleveland Open