Stroud Solo Leader Isenhour Struggles


2006 BMW Charity Pro-Am at the CliffsASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Chris Stroud posted a 3-under 69 at the Cliffs Valley course on Friday to take the second-round lead at the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs. He stands at 9-under-par 134 and is one ahead of Scott Weatherly.
Weatherly fired a 6-under 66 at the same course to finish 36 holes at minus- 8. Doug LaBelle II also carded a 66 on Friday and is in third place at 7-under-par 136.
The first three rounds of the event are spread over three courses - the par-72 The Cliffs Golf & Country Club (Cliffs Valley), the par-71 The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards and the par-71 The Cliffs at Walnut Cove.
Stroud, a 24-year-old Sea Island, Georgia resident, shared the first-round lead and started poorly on Friday. He missed a 5-foot par putt at the second hole, but made up the stroke at the par-5 sixth when he two-putted for birdie from 15 feet.
He made the turn at even-par 36, but broke into red figures quickly on the second nine. Stroud wedged his approach to 3 feet to set up birdie at the 10th.
Stroud's next birdie came at the par-5 13th when his second shot missed the green. He chipped to 6 feet and converted the putt, then rolled in a 5-foot birdie putt at the 14th.
Stroud was alone in the lead at 9-under par, but had a chance to extend his margin. He missed a 6-footer for birdie at the par-5 17th, but the Lamar University graduate is on top of the leaderboard.
'I'm very happy with my play so far,' acknowledged Stroud. 'I'm hitting the ball really solid. I'm hitting my wedges really good. That is the strength of my game.'
Stroud is in the field this week based on his tie for 19th at last week's Athens Regional Foundation Classic. He Monday-qualified for that event and is trying to make the most of his opportunity.
'I have low expectations,' said Stroud. 'Just play solid golf and play my way on this tour. I'm not going to get ahead of myself.'
Weatherly began on the back nine and bogeyed his first hole. He then sank a 6-foot par putt at the 11th, and drained a birdie putt from the same length at 14. He closed his opening side with a 5-foot birdie putt at No. 18.
On his second nine, Weatherly kicked in a short birdie putt at one, then holed a 15-foot birdie putt at the third. He collected back-to-back birdies from the fifth and polished off his 66 with an 8-foot birdie putt at the ninth.
'I got off to a shaky start, but made some good putts today,' said Weatherly. 'I don't feel like I'm hitting it all that great. My misses aren't hurting me too much right now.'
Joseph Alfieri, Richard Johnson and Ken Duke all played the Cliffs Valley course on Friday and are part of a group tied for fourth place. Glen Hnatiuk and Jason Allred teed it up at the Walnut Cove course in round two and joined the others at six-under par.
Tripp Isenhour, a two-time winner on tour this season, was one of the co-leaders after Thursday's opening round, but struggled on Friday. He managed a 3-over 74 at the Walnut Cove course and is part of a group tied for 34th place at minus-three.
Bryce Molder, the other co-leader, was even worse than Isenhour on Friday. At the Keowee Vineyards track, the former Georgia Tech standout shot a 4-over 75 and dropped into a tie for 42nd at minus-2.
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