Bolli Surges into First in Alabama

By Sports NetworkOctober 29, 2004, 4:00 pm
Nationwide Tour ChampionshipPRATTVILLE, Ala. -- Justin Bolli fired an 8-under 64 on Friday to surge into the lead after the second round of the Nationwide Tour Championship. Bolli's 36-hole total of 13-under-par 131 left him one shot ahead of Franklin Langham.
Nick Watney shot a 64 of his own to finish two shots off the lead at 11-under-par 133. Jason Caron was alone in fourth place at 10-under-par 134, while Kevin Stadler, Brett Wetterich and Kyle Thompson shared fifth place at 9-under-par 135.
The Senator Course at Capitol Hill has been yielding some low scores over the first two days of the season-ending tournament with 20 PGA Tour cards on the line, and Bolli was ready to get in on the fun.
'It was one of those days where everything felt easy,' he said. 'I hit a lot of good iron shots close and obviously I made a lot of putts.'
Bolli parred his first three holes before picking up back-to-back birdies starting at the par-4 fourth. He then birdied the eighth and added a birdie at the ninth to reach 9 under around the turn.
The 28-year-old birdied the 10th and hit his approach to 15 feet at the par-4 11th. Bolli converted the putt to make it four in a row.
Bolli cooled off with five straight pars, missing on a couple of birdie chances midway through the back nine. At the par-5 17th, Bolli rolled his second shot within 3 feet of the cup and tapped in the eagle putt to move into the lead. Bolli, who stands in the eighth spot on the Nationwide Tour money list, closed with a par to give himself a good shot at win No. 2 on the weekend.
'There are no extraneous thoughts going on for me this week,' said Bolli, who broke through earlier in the year with a win at the Chattanooga Classic. 'It is one less thing I have to think about.'
Langham began his round on fire with birdies on each of his first five holes. At the par-4 ninth, Langham dropped his second shot inside 8 feet and drained the birdie try to go out in 30.
The 36-year-old, who will be making a return trip to the PGA Tour next year, collected a birdie at the 10th to move to minus-12.
Langham faltered with a bogey at the par-4 14th, but hit his tee shot to 9 feet for a birdie at the par-3 16th on his way to a 65.
'Driving it in the fairway was the key for me today,' Langham said. 'I've seemed to miss the fairway in spots where I have been able to make par.'
Watney holds the 19th spot on the money list, but can't let his guard down this week. There are plenty of players who could pass him, but the 23-year-old seems poised to take one of those PGA Tour cards.
He birdied three of his first four holes and added back-to-back birdies from the 10th to get to 8 under. Watney then birdied the par-3 13th and hit his second shot to 6 feet for an eagle at the par-5 17th.
'I just got on the bubble last week,' sad Watney. 'I've still got a long way to go, but I'm looking forward to the weekend.'
Caron is trying to move into the top-20 this week. He made a move on Friday with six birdies and two bogeys to finish three shots back.
Ryuji Imada, Scott Gutschewski and D.J. Trahan are knotted at 8-under-par 136. Darron Stiles, who held the lead after the opening round, managed an even-par 72 to join Euan Walters, Nathan Green and Chris Tidland at 7-under-par 137.
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