Davidson, NC – Derek Fathauer (pictured by Getty Images) stayed patient on Friday morning even after he bogeyed his seventh hole of the round and quickly bounced back with four consecutive birdies. After a par on the next hole, the University of Louisville alum made three more birdies in a row on the way to a 6-under 66. The former All-American stands at 12-under 132 and holds a two-stroke advantage over Australia’s Greg Chalmers (65), Scott Pinckney (68) and Brett Stegmaier (66) after 36 holes of the Chiquita Classic.

“I just kind of shook it off and went on a little run from there,” said the 28-year-old Fathauer.

Three back are Charlotte resident Kyle Reifers (68), John Peterson (70) and first-round leader Adam Hadwin (72).

The Tour Finals are comprised of four events that match Tour and PGA TOUR players in a competition for 50 PGA TOUR cards for the 2014-14 season.

Fathauer has made 16 birdies halfway through the second event of the Finals. As River Run Country Club starts to toughen up the third-year pro from Florida believes that his game plan will allow for continued success this weekend.

“I’m just trying to go out there and play every hole the way I drew it up in the practice round,” Fathauer said. “I know there are birdies out there.”

In the first round Fathauer recorded nine birdies and three bogeys. Touring pros are normally satisfied after a six-under score, but Fathauer found it difficult to shake off two bogeys that came near the end of the day.

David Abell, his agent, was in the gallery on Thursday and offered the former U.S. Palmer Cup team member some advice later that evening. Abell saw that Fathauer was antsy at times and struggled to keep his cool when facing adversity.

“You need a thought every day you play,” Fathauer said. “The main thing about tournament golf is just staying patient.”

This is the first time in 71 starts that Fathauer has led after 36 holes of a Tour event. While he has earned his PGA TOUR card with his stellar play during the Regular Season Fathauer has yet to win on Tour. When asked how he would prepare for the third round, the former Louisville Cardinal had a laid back stress-free response.

“I told my caddy I’ve been dying to watch some Netflix, so that’s what I’m going to do today,” Fathauer said.

Chalmers is off to another great start this week in Davidson. In the first Finals event, the Hotel Fitness Championship, the Colleyville, Texas resident was one off the lead after the first round but failed to break par over the final three days. After his bogey-free 65 at River Run, Chalmers admitted to trying to press at times this year when in contention late in a tournament

“I’ve done that most of the season,” the PGA TOUR veteran said. “I push a little harder on the weekend trying to make things happen. I need to control that tomorrow.”

Pinckney had to deal with a quick weather delay that halted play for 44 minutes Friday afternoon. While on the range warming up before the restart of the second round, the Arizona State University alum practiced hitting 4-iron shots in preparation for his approach to the par-5, 6th hole. Pinckney opted for a cut 3-iron instead and two-putted for birdie. His ability to place his iron shots in the correct quadrant of the greens has helped position him near the top heading into the weekend.

“My ball striking has been great,” said the 25-year-old Scottsdale, Ariz. resident. “I’ve been giving myself opportunities and capitalizing by making a couple of good putts.”


* Friday weather: Partly cloudy. Wind SW 5-10 mph. Overnight low of 69, daytime high of 88.

* Play suspended from 4:40 – 5:30 p.m. due to threatening conditions. Half the field was on the course at the time. The first groups had completed 16 holes and the final groups had completed 8 holes.

* Five players returned to the course and resumed first-round play at 8 a.m. The second round began as scheduled at 7:30 a.m.

* A total of 76 players made the 36-hole cut, which came at 1-under 143.

* Last year’s cut came at even-par 144.

* Third-round play will be in twosomes off the 1st tee. Times will run from 7:35 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.

* Tim Petrovic and Dudley Hart both withdrew during the first round. They did not return to the course Friday morning to complete play.

* James Driscoll and Brandt Jobe withdrew prior to the start of the second round.

* Scott Gardiner withdrew during the round due to a back injury. Richard H. Lee, John Mallinger and Charlie Wi all withdrew during the round.

* The final standings after the first round did not change after the five returning players completed play Friday morning:

Adam Hadwin 63 (-9)
John Peterson 65 (-7)
Scott Pinckney 66 (-6)
Derek Fathauer 66 (-6)
Hudson Swafford 66 (-6)
Seven players tied at 67 (-5)

* Derek Fathauer has made the cut in 16 of 20 starts this year and has 12 top-25 finishes to his credit. He ended the regular season No. 13 on the money list and assured himself of a return trip to the PGA TOUR for the 2014-15 season. Fathauer made only 8 cuts in 20 starts a year ago and wound up No. 109 on the money list and was forced to return to the Tour’s Qualifying Tournament in December in order to regain any status for 2014.

* Fathauer played on the PGA TOUR in 2009 and made eight cuts in 25 starts – his only top-25 finish was a T22 at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

* Fathauer was a Monday qualifier at The Honda Classic earlier this year and he finished T58 in his only PGA TOUR start of the 2013-14 season.

* Fathauer has six top-10 finishes on the Tour this year – including a playoff runner-up effort at the Nova Scotia Open and a T3 at the Panama Claro Championship. Fathauer finished T9 at last week’s Hotel Fitness Championship.

* This is the first time in Fathauer’s Tour career (71st start) that he has held/shared the lead after any single round. His previous best effort at the 36-hole point came a week ago in Fort Wayne, Ind., where he was T2 heading into the weekend.

* Fathauer’s statistics for the first two days:

R1 4 of 14 fairways 14 of 18 greens 26 putts 66
R2 10 of 14 fairways 11 of 18 greens 23 putts 66
Total 14 of 28 (50%) 25 of 36 (69.4%) 49 132 (-12)
Rank T74 T32 1 1

* Greg Chalmers (T2) has been on the PGA TOUR for 13 years (1999-2014) and has made 215 cuts in 362 career starts. This year he made 16 cuts in 27 starts but his only top-10 was a T10 at The McGladrey Classic. He finished the regular season No. 132 on the FedExCup points list.

* Chalmers’ best career finishes on TOUR are a pair of T2 efforts – 2000 Kemper Insurance Open, 2009 Buick Open.

* Chalmers spent three full seasons on the Tour (2005, 2007-08). He won twice, both in playoffs – 2005 Albertsons Boise Open, 2008 Henrico County Open. This is his 84th career start on Tour.

* Scott Pinckney (T2) has made the cut in 14 of 21 starts this year and currently ranks No. 42 on the Finals Priority Ranking after a T25 finish at last week’s Hotel Fitness Championship. Pinckney has two top-10s this season – a T6 at the Chile Classic and T5 at the WinCo Foods Portland Open to close the regular season. His finish at Portland put him No. 37 on the regular season money list.

* Pinckney’s current T2 standing matches his best on Tour. He was also T2 at the halfway point of the Price Cutter Charity Championship last month. Despite four rounds in the 60s and a 17-under total, he wound up T11 and four shots back of winner Cameron Percy in Springfield, Mo.

* Brett Stegmaier (T2) is in the best position he’s ever been in after 36 holes on the Tour. Stegmaier is making his 46th career start this week and his previous best after two rounds came at the 2013 Mid-Atlantic Championship, where he was T9 at the halfway point.

* Sebastian Cappelen and Tom Hoge both improved their scores by 10 strokes in Friday’s round. Cappelen has posted scores of 76-66—142 (-2) and is T52 after starting the day at T117 (up 65 spots) while Hoge has carded rounds of 73-63—136 (-8) and is eighth after being T83 following round one (up 65 spots). The biggest difference in the two rounds for both players was the number of greens in regulation hit:

Hoge Cappelen

R1 8 of 18 GIR 9 of 18 GIR
R2 15 of 18 GIR 16 of 18 GIR

* Bud Cauley, winner of last week’s Hotel Fitness Championship, posted scores of 71-73—144 (E) and missed the cut.

* Eric Axley (Nos. 6, 12) and Jonathan Byrd (Nos. 2, 18) each had a pair of eagles on par-5s. Both players missed the 36-hole cut.

* Bogey-free rounds this week:

R1 63 – Adam Hadwin; 65 – John Peterson; 69 – Henrik Norlander; 71—Chad Collins
R2 63 – Tom Hoge; 65 – Greg Chalmers; 66 – Derek Fathauer, Sam Saunders; 68 – Tyrone van Aswegen

* Scoring Averages for the week:

Front (36) Back (36) Total (72)
R1 35.307 36.102 71.409
R2 35.183 36.125 71.308

* NEXT WEEK: The Tour moves to Columbus, Ohio for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship at the Ohio State University Scarlet Course Sept. 8-14. Last year, Korea’s Seung-Yul Noh put on a dominating performance and distanced the field by five shots. Noh grabbed a two-shot lead after 36 holes and led by three after 54. His final-round 69 put him at 12-under par and well in front of runner-up Edward Loar, who carded a 65 in Sunday’s finale.


Graham J Gordon, The Editor and Owner, GolfblogspotUK

The GolfblogspotUK website is owned and run by former Walker Cup player and European Tour card holder, Graham J Gordon, from Scotland, the Home of Golf. The owner is a golf fanatic who had to retire early from competitive tour play due to a back injury that required surgery. Graham wishes to share his knowledge and own experiences of the game with the GolfblogspotUK community and to receive your feedback on all aspects of the sport. Graham has been playing the game for over 20 years and received a great deal of pleasure from the sport. He has met several friends and visited many different places around the world, thanks to playing the great game of golf. Time to put a little back into the game to help others.

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