Round two of the Huntsville Championship saw Thursday’s leaders fall out of the top five.
Carl Yuan and Nick Hardy both finished the first day at -6, with a six-way tie just a stroke behind them.
Joey Garber, the current leader at -11, was among those in that tie. So was Paul Barjon, who is tied for second with Harry Hall at -8.
On Friday afternoon, Hall said he was surprised to have such a low score so early but felt deserving of his place.
“Eight under is pretty good. I'm really happy with that over the two rounds. I kind of made a little plan on the stroke averages of each hole and what it would be and, you know, level par is my prediction for the cut,” he said. “To be 8-under in second doesn’t surprise me.”
Just ahead of him, Garber grabbed a three-stroke lead with eight birdies -- shooting 6-under on the day. Garber said the most difficult part of the game is the mental aspect -- trying not to beat yourself -- and feels that he plays best when he’s paired with friends.
“I'm just trying to stay positive and just kind of be myself out there, which is easy to do when you play with two friends like Zack and Kev,” he said. “So hopefully I’ll get some good buddies in the next couple days and we’ll have some fun and that’s when I'll play my best.”
Playing close to home, Ardmore’s Lee Hodges finished the round tied for 41st at 2-under. Hodges was 3-under on the day before a double bogey on the 18th. He called the round “atrocious” and said while it's nice to have a large local group supporting him -- his focus is on success.
“At the end of the day I’m trying to get up that leaderboard, whether there’s a million people out here or whether there’s one people out here so it was fun to see everybody but I'd rather play better. We’ll go get it figured out and hopefully go shoot a low one tomorrow.”
Third-round tee times will run from 6:46 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. Hodges launches at 8:36 a.m., with Garber and Barjorn in Saturday's final pairing.