RALEIGH, N.C. – Birdies were still flying at the 2016 Rex Hospital Open.
According to players who took to the layout at TPC Wakefield Plantation on Friday morning, overnight rain may have increased the length of the course, but consistently rolling greens allowed putts to fall.
Round one leader J.J. Spaun stayed at the top of the leaderboard as the afternoon groups were deployed.
“Today was one of those days where I couldn’t get any momentum going,” he said.
His conservative second-round finish of one-under par 70 bumped the mark for the field to chase up to nine-under par and kept him in the spot he wanted to be in.
“I just want to be somewhere up at the top and be in contention going into the weekend. That’s all I can hope for to put myself in position to get the W.
Jason Millard finished with a 68 and pulled within one stroke of the lead along with Trey Mullinax whose four-under par 67 pulled him into second place as well by lunchtime.
After posting five birdies, Millard bogeyed two of his last four, but was still happy about his play.
“It was little wet and you can take advantage of soft conditions,” Millard pointed out.
“I did early. I was really playing well. I played great except for the last four holes. Not a good way to end, but all-in-all it was a great day.”
The biggest mover from the morning group was Charles Wang who carded the low-round of the day – a seven-under par 64.
Sharing spots in the upper tier of the leaderboard on Thursday, Chris Wilson (-7), Ryan Yip (-7), Brady Schnell (-5), Chase Marinell (-5), and Grayson Murray (-5) teed off in the afternoon, and along with the rest of the field worked to chase Spaun and make the projected cut line at even par.
By the end of the day, only Schnell pulled even with Spaun, as his four-under 64 earned him into a share of the lead heading into Saturday’s third round.
“Yeah, it’s always good to be right up near the lead, Schnell said.
“Especially with how things have been progressing for me lately, it’s nice to see the top of the leaderboard. I feel good going into the weekend, so just got to go make it happen.”
By the end of the day, 15 players stood within three strokes of the lead behind Spaun and Schnell as part of a remaining field of 77 that will contend for the tournament title through the weekend.