Round 2 – Staal Foundation Open pres. by Tbaytel
Second Round Leaderboard (Bold denotes Canadian):
Tain Lee – 69-66 (-9)
Riley Wheeldon – 67-70 (-7)
Dan Miernicki – 72-65 (-7)
(July 15, 2016 – Thunder Bay, Ont.) – Irvine, California’s Tain Lee shot a 6-under 66 on Friday at Whitewater Golf Club to take the 36-hole lead at the Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel, the sixth event of the 2016 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada season.
The 26-year old carded five straight birdies midway through his round and was without a bogey on Friday, building a two shot lead over Comox, British Columbia’s Riley Wheeldon and Santee, California’s Dan Miernicki.
“I felt like someone was going to go really low, so I was going pedal to the metal. The scores aren’t as low as I thought they would be, but obviously I’m happy with how I played,” said Lee, who parred his first seven holes but gained momentum after a draining a long birdie putt on the 18th, his ninth.
“On 17 I hit it to four feet, maybe even less, and the putt didn’t even touch the hole. I hit a bad putt. After that, I was a little frustrated with myself and made a good putt on 18. Once I saw that go in, I was comfortable and kind of free-wheeling,” said Lee.
After getting off to a slow start this year, Lee, a former Web.com Tour member, carded four rounds in the 60s last week for his best finish of the year, a T15 result at the Players Cup, giving him confidence heading into this week.
“Last week, I’ve been playing pretty good coming into this stretch. I think my confidence is a little higher than normal and so far it’s showing, but we’ll see what happens,” said Lee.
Two shots behind Lee were Miernicki, who carded the round of the day with a 7-under 65, and Wheeldon, who carded three birdies and a bogey.
Tain Lee is making his sixth career start on the Mackenzie Tour this week. His best career finish was a tie for 15th at last week’s Players Cup in Winnipeg.
Lee held good status on the Web.com Tour in 2015 but finished 159th on the Order of Merit after making just five cuts in 20 starts. He held the first round lead at the Chile Classic before going on to finish T30.
Lee won the Jack Nicklaus Award as the top player in Division III NCAA golf in 2010 while playing for Claremont McKenna College.
Riley Wheeldon is making his 49th career start on the Mackenzie Tour this week. The former University of Louisville Cardinal finished second on the 2013 Order of Merit thanks to a win at the Syncrude Boreal Open presented by AECON to earn conditional status on the Web.com Tour.
Wheeldon missed the first four cuts of the season but rebounded with a T4 finish at the Players Cup last week to move to 33rd on the Order of Merit.
2015 ATB Financial Classic champion Daniel Miernicki shot a 7-under 65 on Friday for the best round of the day at Whitewater Golf Club.
The two-time NCAA All-American at the University of Oregon is in his third season on the Mackenzie Tour and is making his 22nd career start.
Miernicki also finished fourth at the 2014 Staal Foundation Open presented by Tbaytel.
“It’s motivation from the start of the Tour. To see all the possible exemptions, it’s motivation each and every week to play well.” – Order of Merit no. 6 Taylor Moore, who needs at least a two-way tie for second to play his way into the top three on the Order of Merit and earn an RBC Canadian Open exemption for next week.
“I hit it quite a few times really close, and that kind of led to the lower score. It was a lot easier today, and it’s kind of firming up a little bit so it’s playing a bit shorter. It was a much easier golf course today.” – Daniel Miernicki on improved scoring conditions on Friday.
“I’ll take my position. It doesn’t look like anyone’s running away out there. It would have been nice to shoot a couple more under, but I’m not complaining. I missed a few birdie putts, but I made a few long par putts so I can’t complain about that.” – Riley Wheeldon on his second round 2-under 70.
- Weather: 18 degrees Celsius, partly cloudy, winds 9 km/h gusting to 14 km/h.
- 73 players made the 36-hole cut, which came at even par (T57).
- Order of Merit leader Dan McCarthy shot a 4-under 68 to sit T18 at 3-under
heading to the weekend.
- The top three players on the Order of Merit after this week will earn exemptions into the PGA TOUR’s RBC Canadian Open. Scores from the top five through Round One: Dan McCarthy (-3/T18), Adam Cornelson (E/T57), Max Rottluff (MC) Ryan Williams (E/T57), Carter Jenkins (MC).
- NCAA individual champion Aaron Wise recorded a 4-under 68 on Friday to sit T11 through two rounds.
- Preferred lies were in effect again for Round 2.
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For more information contact:
Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada