Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

July 6, 2013

Every putt drops

Logjam at the top halfway through Greenbrier Classic

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS — Matt Every fired a 62 in the second round of the Greenbrier Classic to take a one-shot lead over five other golfers as the tournament makes the turn and heads for the weekend at the historic Old White Course in White Sulphur Springs.

“I played really well tee to green,” Every said. “I made some putts, hadn’t made anything all year and it just finally happened today. I prayed for it.”

Every, who played at The Greenbrier in 2010 and shot an opening round 63, said he likes the course and the way it is responding to play. He added that a lot of younger golfers like himself are playing this week for essentially their professional lives.

“It’s coming down to the end of the year. A lot of guys are trying to get inside the FedEx 125, the money, to keep their job next year,” Every pointed out. “It’s a big week for a lot of people, for myself. I mean every week’s a big week out here. If you play good it can change your life.”

A product of the University of Florida, Every’s best finish was a tie for second in the 2012 Valero Texas Open. He admitted that as of late there have been some unnerving times for him.

“I’ve been playing really good and it’s been really frustrating the last three weeks,” Every noted. “Last week I missed the cut by one…

“I’m very happy with how I played, but there was a stretch where I missed four putts inside of 12 feet, could have been really low today.”

Five golfers are tied for second place, including Daniel Summerhays, Bill Lunde, Steven Bowditch, Russell Henley and Virginia Tech alumnus Johnson Wagner, as they head into the third round a single shot behind the leader.

Wagner, a day after shooting a first round 62, cooled off in Friday’s second and shot an even par 70 to stay near the top.

“I started off a little nervous, pulled a couple of tee shots on 11 and 12, didn’t get away with the one on 11 but made a good birdie on 15 to make up for it,” Wagner said. “I had a bunch of good looks all day, I put myself in good position. I didn’t drive it quite as well as I did yesterday (Thursday).

“All in all felt pretty good about my game, just a little short with all the putts, a little nervous out there, so understandable. Greens in the afternoon generally get a little bumpier and I just didn’t quite have the pace on them. It was a good day, I’m happy to be close to the lead. It would have been nice to shoot another 62 and separate a little bit, but that’s what tomorrow’s for.”

The former Hokie is in rare territory and he hopes to take advantage of it over the next two days.

“I’m excited,” Wagner said. “I haven’t made a cut in seven tournaments, much less been in contention, so it’s really nice. That is why I play golf, to have a chance to win golf tournaments and I’m really excited about my position and the way I’m playing golf going into the weekend.”

Bowditch had to play his way onto the PGA Tour this year. His highest ever finish was a tie for 10th in the Tour Qualifier earlier this year at which he regained his Tour card. He finished tied for 15th at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AM in 2011. In Friday’s second round, Bowditch, from Perigian Beach, Australia, scored a 67 after playing a 65 in the first round.

“I really haven’t put myself in position really my whole career, so it’s going to be a new experience for me,” Bowditch said when asked about being so close to the lead going to the weekend. “I’ve been playing around, playing the game of golf now, this is my third year as a professional golfer, so I’ve gained a little bit of experience but not quite at this level.

“I’m going to go out there and play my game. My golf swing feels probably the best it’s felt in a long time now, so I’m sort of freewheeling it, which is nice. You don’t often get to do that in the game of golf, so just go out there and keep freewheeling and hopefully make some putts.”

Summerhays, a 2008 graduate of Brigham Young University whose best finish on the Tour was a tie for fourth in the 2012 Memorial, followed his 65 on Thursday with a 67 on Friday.

“I made a good about 12-footer for par on my second hole that kind of gets the round going all right,” Summerhays said. “Then I hit one real close on six and another one on eight with a 7-wood real close, so those easy birdies are always fun. I think the only difference from yesterday (Thursday) is I just didn’t make as many putts, but again, I’m giving myself some good chances and they’ll start falling over the weekend.”

Summerhays talked about his strategy for the final two days of the tournament.

“…what I’m going to try and do is just pick my target, hit the shot, and live with the result instead of trying to be so -- I mean, you can be too perfect out here and golf is not a game of perfect,” Summerhays said.

Lunde, who has a PGA Tour win in the 2010 Turning Stone Resort Championship, has been even keel in his two days on The Old White, shooting 66 in both rounds. He credits his early play for his staying among the leaders.

“I got off to a good start, made birdie on my first hole, kind of picked up where I left off yesterday (Thursday) with putting really well. I made a good putt on the first hole to kind of jump start the day,” Lunde said. “More than anything, today (Friday) I thought I hit the ball better tee to green. (I) didn’t putt quite as good, but still putted well.

“Yesterday (Thursday) I made a couple really unexpected bombs out there. All in all another solid day. It was nice to hit the ball a little better and still putt well today.”

Henley’s 65 on Friday followed a 67 Thursday. No. 3 on the 2012 Web.com Tour money list, the 24-year-old from Daniel Island, S.C. won the Sony Open earlier this year in Hawaii.

“I played well, I hit the ball a lot better today than I did yesterday and gave myself a lot of good chances and stayed patient,” Henley said. “It was kind of a breezy, inconsistent breeze out there today, so I just tried to keep giving myself chances.”

Henley said he is having a great time at the Classic, especially with the off-course events.

“I’m so happy we have these two concerts we can go to, unlike a lot of the events out here,” Henley said. “It’s really cool and unique and I love music and I’m really enjoying that…I definitely like Aerosmith, I like Kenny Chesney, so it’s working out good for me.”

—Contact Bob Redd at

bredd@bdtonline.com

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