|1||David Pastore (U.S.)||66-69—135 (-9)||2|
|T2||David Sanders (U.S.)||67-69—136 (-8)||11|
|T2||Carson Young (U.S.)||70-66—136 (-8)||3|
|T4||Eric Ansett (U.S.)||72-65—137 (-7)||27|
|T4||Trace Crowe (U.S.)||71-66—137 (-7)||29|
|T4||Chris Korte (U.S.)||67-70—137 (-7)||25|
|T7||Garrett May (U.S.)||73-65—138 (-6)||31|
|T7||Andrew Dorn (U.S.)||71-67—138 (-6)||36|
|9||Leandro Marelli (Argentina)||71-68—139 (-5)||23|
|T10||Toni Hakula (Finland)||72-68—140 (-4)||4|
|T10||Justin Suh (U.S.)||72-68—140 (-4)||21|
|T10||Mookie DeMoss (U.S.)||72-68—140 (-4)||49|
DULUTH, Georgia — In the opening round of the LOCALiQ Series Championship, with wind gusting to 25 mph, David Pastore shot a 6-under 66. With very little wind blowing in the second round, Pastore fired a 69. Three strokes worse, yes, but he wasn’t unhappy. At the halfway point of the LOCALiQ Series’ season finale, Pastore takes a one-stroke lead over another David—Sanders—and Carson Young into the third round of this 72-hole event at TPC Sugarloaf. Three players, Eric Ansett, Trace Crowe and Chris Korte, are only two strokes behind on the bunched leaderboard.
“I didn’t just get as much out of the round, but it still felt like I played pretty well. The greens are very fast with tricky pin locations so I think 3-under I’m still pretty happy with that,” Pastore said.
Following his round, Pastore also noted something he’s never done in his career, leading a tournament from start to finish. “In front is the position you always want to be in, so I’m not going to say I want to be behind,” he added. “I’ve never won a tournament wire to wire, so that’s one of my goals.”
His five-birdie, two-bogey performance Wednesday did nothing to harm those chances. The Mackenzie Tour player, who lost in a playoff to Young at the Jacksonville Championship earlier this year, knows what a win here will mean. He currently projects to finish second on the points list, which would earn him a 2021 PGA TOUR tournament invitation.
Pastore credited a quick start that helped him through a couple of lulls during the round. He birdied the second and third holes but made “two sloppy mistakes on the back nine”—at the par-5 10th and the par-4 15th. “But I made two kind of nice bounce-back birdies on 12 and 16 to salvage the round.
“I did feel a bit more pressure today,” he continued, “just having the lead, being in the last group. You know, there’s definitely a lot more pressure when you’re ahead, but that’s where you want to be. Hopefully I just keep playing good golf, and we’ll see what happens.”
Young did most of his damage on his way to a 66 on the front nine, quickly moving to 3-under for the day with a birdie at No. 2 and an eagle at the third. After piping a drive down the middle on the par-5, he hit a 9-iron from 155 yards to four feet. “It was a dead-straight putt. Not quite a kick-in, but it was pretty close,” he noted.
The former Clemson Tiger added birdies at Nos. 5 and 8 and then had a key moment on No. 9 as he finished his front nine. After he hooked his drive into a stand of pine trees, he punched out into the fairway and faced a 105-yard third shot on the par-4. Young tried to hit a soft gap wedge, hoping the ball wouldn’t spin too much. “I actually took way too much off of it, and I had about 30 feet for par,” he explained.
No problem. Young calmly walked up and drained it to keep the momentum going, a 5-under 31 on his card. As it turned out, all his birdies came during his first 10 holes because following a birdie at No. 10, Young parred out. Even with short misses at Nos. 15 and 16, both in the six- to-seven-foot range, Young was more than happy with his round and his position with 36 holes to play.
“I’m really happy with it,” he said of his play. “Game feels good as long as I can make a few more putts inside that 10-foot range.
Sanders played in all seven LOCALiQ Series tournaments prior to this one, making six cuts. The only thing missing from his resume is a high finish. His best performance in those seven tournaments was a tie for 16th at The Championship at Echelon Golf Club in nearby Alpharetta, Ga. When asked what his play at the LOCALiQ Series has proved to him, he was quick to answer. “That I can hang with some really good players out here. It gives me a lot of confidence. I’m playing really good. Hopefully I can keep that going for the next couple of days.”
Did you know David Sanders is of Korean descent? His mother was born in South Korea and immigrated to the U.S., when she was 18.
Season Points Standings
Through the Classic at The Club at Weston Hills
|Pos.||Player (Home Tour)||Points||Previous
|1||Bryson Nimmer (Mackenzie Tour)||1,419.000||1||1|
|2||Carson Young (Mackenzie Tour)||762.467||2||3|
|3||Toni Hakula (PGA TOUR Latinoamérica)||675.667||3||4|
|4||Hayden Shieh (Mackenzie Tour)||674.750||4||5|
|5||Justin Doeden (Mackenzie Tour)||580.500||67||7|
|6||Stoney Crouch (Mackenzie Tour)||552.333||5||6|
|7||Cooper Musselman (Mackenzie Tour)||509.500||6||8|
|8||David Pastore (Mackenzie Tour)||472.150||7||2|
|9||Alex Smalley (Mackenzie Tour)||412.000||8||9|
|10||Cole Miller (Mackenzie Tour)||356.083||9||10|
- There is not a 36- or 54-hole cut at this tournament.
- The top-two finishers on the final points standings at the conclusion of the tournament will earn invitations to-be-determined 2021 PGA TOUR tournaments along with the winner of this week’s LOCALiQ Series Championship.
- Points leader Bryson Nimmer has struggled through 36 holes. Following his opening, 7-over 79 Tuesday, Nimmer came back with a 1-over 73. He is at 8-over and tied for 71st. On the strength of his two victories (Alpharetta Classic and The Championship at Echelon Golf Club) and runner-up finish (The Invitational at Auburn University Club) earlier in the season, Nimmer has secured the No. 1 position on the points list and is guaranteed a 2021 PGA TOUR tournament start that goes to the LOCALiQ Series’ top player.
- Besides Bryson Nimmer, here is how the other LOCALiQ Series tournament winners have fared through 36 holes: Leading the way is Carson Young (won the Jacksonville Championship). He’s tied for second, one shot behind leader DavidPastore; Toni Hakula (The Challenge at Harbor Hills) added a 4-under 68 to go with his opening 72 and is tied for 10th; Stoney Crouch opened with a 68 but struggled to a 73 Wednesday. He’s tied for 13th. Cooper Musselman (The Invitational at Auburn University Club) moved up 27 spots on the leaderboard with his second-round 68. He’s tied for 22nd. Justin Doeden (the Classic at The Club at Weston Hills) also improved significantly, shooting a 70 to go with his first-round 77. He’s tied for 58th.
- On the par-4 second hole, David Sanders, wanted to carry his approach shot into the par-4 about five yards farther. “It spun off the face (of the club) a little more than I wanted it to,” Sanders said of the approach that rolled off the front of the green and down the hill. After chipping to about 10 feet with his third shot, Sanders rolled that in for an adventuresome par. “Actually, that putt was huge for my round. It gave me a lot of confidence going forward.”
- Trace Crowe is not a member of any of the PGA TOUR’s International Tours, but he earned a spot in the LOCALiQ Series Championship field via his play as a sponsor’s exemption at The Invitational at Auburn University Club, where he tied for fourth on his alma mater’s home course. Crowe was 54th on the final points list. He is taking strong advantage of this opportunity, opening 71-66 to sit at 7-under through 36 holes. He is tied for fourth.
- After opening with a 5-over 77, Isaiah Salinda improved by 12 strokes, shooting a 7-under 65—tying him for low-round-of-the-day honors with Garrett May and Eric Ansett. Salinda, with his bogey-free round, moved up 47 spots on the scoreboard, into a tie for 18th with 36 holes remaining.
- Garrett May’s previous-low 18-hole round this season was a 66 he shot in the second round of The Classic at Callaway Gardens. May’s top finish was a tie for 11th at the Jacksonville Championship. Eric Ansett played in only four of the seven LOCALiQ Series tournaments, but 11 of his 12 rounds were under-par, with 10 of them in the 60s. Ansett’s previous-best 18-hole score was also a 66, in the first round at The Invitational at Auburn University Club—where he enjoyed his best outing, a tie for 10th.
- Also enjoying a nice turnaround from the first day to the second was The Invitational at Auburn University Club champion Cooper Musselman. Musselman shaved seven strokes off his opening 75 and finds himself tied for 22nd at the halfway point.
“I definitely made more putts [Tuesday]. Fortunately, I had a couple of close iron shots, but I was hitting it fairly well. That’s kind of how I made some of the closer ones. Hopefully [Thursday], I can make a few more long putts.” – David Pastore
“I was coming up short a lot from longer range and just not as aggressive on my shorter ones. I just missed a couple short ones and wasn’t as clean as [Tuesday].” – David Pastore on his putting
“I would have thought that [Tuesday] I would’ve missed more putts. But that’s golf. Sometimes they go in. Like I said, the greens are just fast, so you really have to hit your lines, and you’ve got to have the right speed, and it’s not easy to get perfect from 50 feet.” – David Pastore on the difference in putting between the first and second rounds
“Today was much more of a grind. I missed a couple of short irons, short-sided myself, and had a couple of up-and-downs. I made a lot of five-, six-, seven-footers for par and kept my round going. – David Sanders
“I birdied No. 1 and then couldn’t find a birdie. I made a really good birdie on nine. It was tough to get some putts dropping in for birdie, but I’m so happy with the way I played.” – David Sanders
“Making that was a huge momentum boost. That was really the only bad hole I had. It might’ve been the only green I missed today. To make that one, it definitely helped with the back nine.” – Carson Young on his par save at No. 9
“I mean the greens out here are real slick. Sometimes if you don’t read them correctly or you second-doubt yourself, you can miss [them].” – Carson Young
“But I was having that length pretty much all day. I made my fair share, so to miss a few, obviously I would’ve liked to make those, but you can’t make them all, so you just have to stay patient with a lot of holes left.” – Carson Young
“This golf course tests everything. I would say that it’s not tight, but it is a little claustrophobic in places. The greens are really, really good, but really fast, and there are some elevation changes, so you have to put your iron shots in the right places.” – Garrett May on TPC Sugarloaf
“Well, it definitely was easier today. I felt like my game was good yesterday, I just didn’t grind out a good score like I wanted to (1-over). I definitely knew I had to keep the pedal down if I got off to a good start, which I did.” – Garrett May on his second-round 65
“It was a pretty stress-free round for the most part. I let some drives get away from me, that were kind of stressful in the air, but other than that, it was good. – Garrett May
”Seventy-two holes allows good players to have that stretch of just kind of average golf, and still [stay] in it. Especially [Tuesday] with the conditions being so tough, yeah, I would’ve loved something under par, and definitely felt like I could’ve gotten something under par. But only shooting 1-over, I never really thought that I was out of it. – Garrett May
Second-Round Weather: Cold to start the morning. Temperature was 42 for the first tee time. High of 60. Wind NW at 1-2 mph.