2014 Rex Hospital Open: Varner takes second-round lead at -10

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network
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Peter Koutroumpis – editor@trianglesportsnet.com

RALEIGH, N.C. – East Carolina grad Harold Varner III took the early clubhouse lead at 10-under par following his second round of play at the 2014 Rex Hospital Open at TPC Wakefield Plantation on Friday.

Varner ended his day shooting a 6-under par 65 that bested his first-round score of 67 and put him at the top of the leaderboard for the first time.

“I feel good,” Varner said afterwards.

“I’m hitting it far; I’m makin’ some putts. The game doesn’t change much. You gotta’ focus on what you do best.”

Max Homa posted a 3-under 68 and sat in second place behind Varner at -9 while Web.com Tour money leader Carlos Ortiz and Colt Knost who led first-round play after each carded 64 on Thursday faltered while Varner and others in the field like 2009 champion Kevin Johnson went low.

Johnson scored low round of the day with a 7-under par 64 as the crowds around the course grew modestly throughout the day.

Varner was impressed to see the ECU following that greeted him on his final hole.

“It was pretty weird,” he said.

“That was pretty loud.”

The native of Akron, Ohio had never played the TPC course before teeing it up on Thursday, but that didn’t seem to make a difference as he continued his streak of scoring in the 60’s to nine rounds.

With a T6 finish at the WNB Golf Classic and a T13 result in last week’s BMW Charity Pro-Am, Varner is currently playing the best golf of his season.

If he keeps up the pace he’s currently on, ending his second round making 26 putts after hitting 14 of 18 greens, there will be a good chance that he will be around late into Sunday’s final round.

“That was our goal; in golf you just wanna’ have a chance at birdie,” Varner said.

“If I get 36 of those, I think I’ll be just right.”