Around 3 p.m., a strong thunderstorm cell moved through which forced the suspension. Lightning and heavy rain moved through the course for about 2 1/2 hours. At approximately 5:45, play resumed with the last scheduled tee times. When the horn blew to end play for the day, eight groups were left on the course. Resumption of Round 2 began at 8 this morning with a shotgun start. When play is completed, the cut will be determined, and Round 3 will begin afterwards.
Leading the event going into today’s play was Knoxville’s Grant Milner, who fired a 66-67—133 (7-under par).
After starting with a double bogey on his first hole and a bogey on his third, Milner fought back with seven birdies in the span of 12 holes to finish his round with a solid 3-under par 67.
In a close second is 2012 U.S. Amateur champion Steven Fox who also fired a 3-under par Round 2 of 67 to make his 36-hole total 135, just two strokes out of the lead.
“I still haven’t figured out the front nine,” said Fox. “I am comfortable on the back, if only I could just get through the front at even par I would be set. I had a pinched nerve in my shoulder blade acting up this morning, but after the rain delay it had gone away. The break really helped. I was able to come back and scrape it all together to make several birdies in a row. I had a four-birdie streak, and that just never happens on tour.”
The low round Wednesday came from Chris Schmidt of Hixson, who carded a 65 (5-under par) after firing a 73 in Round 1 to make his 36-hole total 138. He is currently tied for fifth place.
Schmidt was asked what played differently in the second round as compared to the opening 18 holes. “Today wasn’t much different. I struck the ball the same, but I did make a minor adjustment to my putting, which helped me tremendously,” he said. “I don’t play the field, I play the course. I don’t calculate, and I don’t speculate. That is always much easier said than done, but I do a pretty good job at staying in the present and not looking ahead or behind.”
Cleveland’s Hunter Vest, an NAIA All-American at Lee University, moved up the leaderboard into a seven-way tie for 21st after a 1-under par round of 69. Vest is 1-over par for the tournament after an opening round 72 Tuesday.
Former Walker Valley standout Clark Melton, who now plays for Young Harris College, and Cleveland High senior Connor Caprara both finished the day at 5-over par after rounds of 75. Melton has a 36-hole total of 147, while Caprara is setting at 151.
Benton’s Evan Ball, who played in a trio of TSSAA state tournaments while at Polk County High School, has a 72-78 — 150 two-day total.
Another former Mustang and current Tennessee Wesleyan standout Cody Godfrey shot a 7-over 77 Wednesday and was setting at 155 for the tournament.
Complete information on Round 2 may be found at www.tnamateur.com.