Scotlands Laird 36-Hole Leader in Georgia

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2006 Athens Regional ClassicBOGART, Ga. -- Scotland's Martin Laird posted a 5-under 67 on Friday and remained atop the leaderboard after two rounds of the Athens Regional Foundation Classic. He stands at 11-under-par 133 and is four clear at Jennings Mill Country Club.
 
Miguel Carballo and Nicholas Thompson each carded rounds of 6-under-par 66 in round two and are tied for second place at minus-seven.
 
David McKenzie (68), Hunter Haas (69), Brian Quackenbush (68), Skip Kendall (68), Tom Scherrer (69) and 1996 U.S. Open champion Steve Jones (71) are knotted in fourth place at 6-under-par 138.
 
Laird began the second round with a one-shot lead and did almost all of his damage on the front nine.
 
Laird parred his opening hole, then birdied the par-5 second. He birdied the fourth then birdied the seventh for the second time in as many rounds.
 
He closed out his front nine with a birdie putt at the ninth and made the turn at 10 under par for the championship.
 
Now armed with a three-shot lead, Laird was not able to really distance himself from the field. He parred his first four holes on the second nine, then birdied the par-5 14th to move to 11 under par.
 
Laird parred his final four holes to walk off with his first piece of a 36-hole lead on the Nationwide Tour.
 
'I hit a lot of good putts today that didn't go in,' said the Scotsman, whose best finish this season was a tie for 13th at the Livermore Valley Wine Country Championship at Wente Vineyards. 'I told my caddie walking in that we could have shot a 9-under today.'
 
Despite being tied for the tournament lead in greens in regulation, Laird credits the first club out of his bag for his success. He is sixth in distance and tied for seventh in driving accuracy.
 
'The first two days I've driven it really well,' said Laird. 'There are some long holes out here and if you don't hit good drives, some of the par fours are trouble.
 
'It's definitely a lot easier of a game if you are hitting it long and straight.'
 
Paul Claxton (70), Omar Uresti (70), Jay Williamson (69), Steve Friesen (70), Jim McGovern (72), Robin Freeman (72), Richard Johnson (72), Michael Letzig (71), John Riegger (69) and Roger Tambellini (70) share 10th place at minus-5.
 
The 36-hole cut fell at 1-under-par 143 with 60 players advancing to the weekend.
 
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