Sebring, FL –(February 13, 2013)— In auto racing, competitors are known to use a technique called drafting in order to reduce wind resistance over the course of a long race. On Wednesday with wind gusts up to 28 miles per hour, players wished they had that option at Sun N’ Lake Golf Club in Sebring, Florida.
Krister Eriksson, a native of Sweden, managed to keep his game plan of “having fun” in place shooting a four-under-par 68 to take the lead at the halfway point of PGA TOUR Latinoamérica’s US qualifying tournament. “I’m just having fun out there and sticking to my game plan” said Eriksson who made six birdies and two bogeys on Wednesday. “It was really gusty especially on the back-nine, I kept throwing grass in the air to test it out and it still wasn’t enough to judge the right shot.”
Eriksson’s length off the tee has certainly been an advantage this week, as he is a combined 8-under-par on the Deer Run’s par-fives this week.
Just having Fun...Taking a cue off of the Grammy Award winning band Fun., University of Central Florida graduate Jhared Hack’s plan was similar to Eriksson, make sure to have fun. Hack shot a two-under-par 70 on Wednesday and is tied for second place, just one shot off the lead. “My game plan hasn’t changed from yesterday, I’m just trying to have fun and not complicate things. My attitude has been good this week and has helped me play steadily. The conditions were certainly more challenging today, it was very gusty and certainly affected the way we played.”
Teaching an old dog new tricks…23 year old American Mark Baker uses a hybrid club that is a little less than half his age. The 10-year-old club was working today as he fired it into the par-5 18th hole and rolled in the putt for an eagle to finish his round. “I had a really hot putter, I was reading the greens well and felt that if I put my stroke on it I was going to make the putt” said the Cal State Bakersfield graduate about his second round 66, the low round of the day. Baker Monday qualified for the Farmer’s Insurance Open on the PGA TOUR a few weeks ago and feels that his game is trending in the right direction. “My goal is to be the number one player in the World and this Tour gives me a chance to earn World Golf Ranking points and move up to reach my goal.”
Off the clubhouse…The largest cheer on Wednesday came late in the day after Sean McNamara’s second shot on the par-3 ninth hole. His tee shot hit a railroad tie and sailed 100 yards behind the green and came to rest up against the clubhouse. Today is Winey Wednesday at Sun N’ Lake so the large gathering of members who meet every Wednesday in the back patio of the clubhouse got to see McNamara hit his shot over their custom golf carts, over a water hazard and onto the green. He two putted for a bogey-four and received a hearty applause from the assembled Winey Wednesday crowd.
Top 20…While a win would be nice, the goal this week is to get inside the top 20 and earn playing privileges for the 2013 season. Through 36 holes 25 players from 10 countries are in a good position to claim their cards. Sweden, US, Mexico, Canada, Wales, Ireland, Thailand, Ecuador, Colombia and Argentina are all represented in the Top-20.
Sun N’ Lake Golf Club…The hardest hole on Wednesday was a tie between the third & 11th holes while the easiest was the par-5 13th.
Chuta!...Ecuador’s Esteban Calisto, a member of PGA TOUR Latinoamérica last year, put himself into position to earn his card Friday. His best finish last season was T40 at the Dominican Republic Open.
Oh Canada!...PGA TOUR Canada veteran Matt Johnston shot a 3-under par 69 and is in fourth place at the halfway mark.
Final Word: Leader Eriksson on his game plan for the next two days: “Grip it and rip it, right.”