Trio Share 36-Hole Lead in Virginia


04 Henrico County OpenRICHMOND, Va. -- Scott Sterling and Daniel Chopra each fired rounds of 9-under 63 on Friday to grab a share of the lead through two round of the Henrico County Open. They share first place at 16-under-par 128 with Franklin Langham, who posted a 64.
Those three set what would have been a 36-hole scoring mark of 128 if it weren't for play being contested using lift, clean and place rules due to wet conditions.
Ryuji Imada, who won the Charity Pro-AM at The Cliffs in a playoff earlier this year, posted an 8-under 64. He shares fourth place with Nathan Green and Jeff Street at 13-under-par 131. John E. Morgan is one stroke further back at minus-12.
The cut line of 7-under-par 137 matched the lowest 36-hole cut in tour history. The last time it fell that low was at the 1991 Dakota Dunes Open, when the cut was 50 players and ties.
The field scorched the course averaging 69.115 on Friday. Of the 312 scores posted over the first two days, only 31 have been over par. The field was a cumulative 901-under par over the first two days.
Sterling and Chopra shared seventh place entering the second round. Sterling opened his round on the 10th tee at The Dominion Club and ran off three straight birdies from No. 10.
The 32-year-old picked up two more birdies on the back side to head to the front nine at minus-12. He carded his sixth birdie at the second. He then notched back-to-back birdies from the fourth. He moved to 16 under with a birdie at the par-3 ninth, his last.
'I'd rather be in this position on Sunday,' said Sterling, whose best finish on tour is a tie for fourth at the 2003 Lake Erie Charity Classic. 'Still, I'm very pleased. It's all a matter of making putts.'
Chopra, who won the First Tee Arkansas Classic in April, also started on the back side. He carded three consecutive birdies from the 11th and picked up another birdie at the 15th.
He capped his first nine with a birdie at the 18th to head to the front side at minus-12. On the front side, Chopra birdied four of the first five holes to grab a share of first place. He parred the final four holes to remain there.
'It's amazing how good these guys are,' said Chopra, who has made six of 13 cuts on the PGA Tour this season. 'To keep this pace up for four days is going to be tough. I think the officials are really going to tuck the pins away and make us pay for all these birdies we're making.'
Langham, who won the Rheem Classic the week after Chopra's crown, birdied the first and second to get to minus-10. He then drained three straight birdies from the fifth to continue his climb up the leaderboard.
The 36-year-old tripped to a bogey at the ninth. He came right back to birdie the 10th and converted his seventh birdie of the round at the 12th. He stumbled to another bogey at the 14th, but again came right back to erase that mistake.
Langham birdied the 15th to get to 14 under and grabbed a share of the lead with an eagle at the par-5 18th.
'The greens are soft so you can fire right at the pins and they're not that quick so you can pretty much gun at your birdie putts,' said Langham. 'When you put those factors together, and the guys are so good, you're going to have low scores. I'm just trying to make birdies and keep up.'
Jimmy Walker, who has two wins this season on the Nationwide Tour stands at 11-under-par 133. He is joined there by Bryant MacKellar, Eduardo Herrera, Chip Sullivan, Johnson Wagner, Justin Bolli, Jason Buha, Jason Caron, Patrick Damron, David Faught and Troy Matteson.
Brad Ott fired a 10-under 62 Friday to survive on the cut line of 7-under- par 137. Seventy-four players advanced to the weekend.
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