Trevor Murphy And Kyle Reifers Set 36-Hole Pace At BMW Charity Pro-Am.
Vermont native Trevor Murphy and Ohioan Kyle Reifers fired rounds of 66 and 64, respectively, to grab the halfway lead at the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation. The pair sits at 12-under par 132.
A shot back are last year’s NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamérica leading money winner Ryan Blum, who equaled Reifers 66, and former U.S. Amateur champion Kelly Kraft, who shot 67.
All three leaders played at Green Valley Country Club, one of three sites used to host the unique Web.com Tour event that features 168 professionals paired with either a celebrity or amateur partner through the first three rounds.
Murphy has conditional Web.com Tour status this year and is playing in only his third tournament of the year. His first start came late last month when he received a sponsor exemption from Web.com to play the WNB Golf Classic in Midland, Texas. A T9 finish earned him a spot in the next tournament, the South Georgia Classic in Valdosta, where a T8 finish got him in this week’s BMW event.
A turning point in his round came on the 8th hole when he rolled in a 10-footer for bogey. “The save on No. 8 was big,” he said. “It kept my momentum going.”
The 29-year-old nearly had the lead all to himself. A 25-footer on the 18th hole hit the left edge and spun to the right. But Murphy was not complaining. “It all evens out,” he said. “You make a few, you miss a few. Murphy’s Law, right!?” Murphy is looking for his first Web.com Tour win in this his 57th start. His best finish is a T7 in both 2010 and 2012 at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in Columbus, Ohio.
Reifers, 30, is pursuing his second Web.com Tour title, having won the 2006 Chattanooga Classic. The Columbus, Ohio native, who has also made 62 PGA TOUR starts, already has two T3s in six starts this year, in Louisiana and Chile.
The keys to his round were birdies on his 9th and 10th holes, which came after a bogey on his 8th. “I got back on the gas after that bogey, which really helped,” Reifers said.
The shot of the day for Reifers came at No. 9, his final hole, when a pulled tee ball under a tree set up a spectacular punch and run shot from 124 yards that rolled to within 6 feet of the hole, setting up his seventh birdie.
Reifers is feeling particularly at home this week as he is staying with the family of his Wake Forest University teammate Bill Haas, who lives in the Greenville area. “Bill has a great family and they are great hosts. I’m feeling very much at home.”
First-round leader Blayne Barber backed off yesterday’s 63 which also came at Green Valley, posting a two-under 70 at Thornblade Club. His 10-under total was matched by six other players who are T5, including Peter Tomasulo, whose 63 at Green Valley was the day’s low score.
The tournament is back on schedule after Thursday’s storms forced two groups to complete play this morning and back up this morning’s tee times 90 minutes.
Notes & Quotes:
*Friday’s Weather: Thursday’s rain gave way to blue skies and very comfortable temperatures on Friday. The temperature reached 70 degrees. Winds were W 15 mph.
*There was one group on both Green Valley CC and Thornblade Club that returned to their respective courses on Friday morning to complete their first rounds, beginning at 7:45 a.m.
*The third round got underway on all three courses at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.
*Leading the Pro-Am portion of the tournament at 23-under par are Andrew Putnam/Rolf Klam and Jonathan Randolph Ryan Floyd
*First-round leader Blayne Barber commenting on his second round: “Thornblade is a little tougher than Green Valley as it is and then the wind made it more difficult to pick clubs. I had two 3-putts and those are the only two shots where I felt like I left something out there….I feel like I’m playing well and I’m just going to keep swinging it and try to hit it at the target. You try to ride it (wave of good play) as long as you can.”
*Peter Tomasulo’s 63 at Green Valley Country Club on Friday featured nine birdies and one bogey. His previous best score this year was a 64 in Brazil in March. His best finish was a T8 at the Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship, the first event of 2014.
*With no Web.com Tour status last year, Trevor Murphy spent much of last year competing on PGA TOUR Canada. He made six cuts in nine starts, highlighted by a solo second to fellow Web.com Tour member Max Gilbert at the season-ending TOUR Championship of Canada presented by Freedom 55 Financial to move to No. 20 on the season-ending Order of Merit, which secured him an exemption into the second stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.
*Duke University graduate Ryan Blum thoroughly enjoyed spending last season on the NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. He said, “Both tours (Web.com Tour and NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamérica) are run fantastically from top to bottom. There are a lot of great guys on that tour. We had a lot of fun last year. You’re staying in the same places, staying together, eating together and traveling together, and you really bond with one another. In terms of competition, it’s certainly deeper on the Web.com Tour but there a lot of very good players on that tour. The whole goal of going down there was to get better as a golfer. The golf courses are very narrow so you’re hitting to small targets and I think that really helped my game. I was forced to do it. The whole experience was a huge benefit to my career.”
*Kelly Kraft is one-stroke off the lead after he carded a 5-under round at The Reserve at Lake Keowee.
Kraft has made three cuts this year with his best finish coming at the El Bosque Mexico Champion (T19).
Kraft will play Green Valley Country Club on Saturday for his third round. “I feel like that’s the course you can get at,” he said. “I’m just going to keep plugging away and minimize the mistakes.”
*Andrew Putnam posted a 4-under 68 in the second round at The Reserve. The lone bogey on his card was the result of a three putt on No. 7.
Putnam won the weather-shortened WNB Golf Classic a few weeks ago.
Putnam missed the cut in his only other appearance at this event last year.
*Brett Wetterich withdrew during the round with a thumb injury.
*The second-round scores at the respective courses were:
Thornblade Club (par 71) – 69.946
Green Valley Country Club (par 72) – 70.352
The Reserve at Lake Keowee (par 72) – 71.473
*The BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation is the ninth of 25 events on the 2014 Web.com Tour schedule. This week’s purse is $650,000 with $117,000 going to the champion. The Tour heads to Raleigh, N.C. next week for the Rex Hospital Open.