Winds of Chains
The sound of chains filled the air at East Metro Park this morning as day 2 of the Texas State Championships kicked off with the Open and Womens' divisions teeing off at 8:30am. Although the day started out brisk and muggy, it ended as expected with a lot of sunshine, heat, and heavy winds yet again.
The Women's division remained a battle between Catrina Ulibarri and Sarah Hokom, who both started the day off on the lead card several strokes ahead of Des Reading and Paige Pierce. Catrina started the round 2 strokes ahead of Sarah Hokom, but back-to-back double bogeys on hole 2 and hole 3 quickly gave Sarah Hokom the lead. They would continue to battle abck and forth the entire round. On the final hole Sarah missed the island green off the tee and then missed it again on her second tee shot to finish the hole with a 6. Catrina had a chance to get a birdie but missed the putt and finished with a par. Sarah's mishap on the final hole leaves her in the lead yet only 1 stroke over Catrina to start the final round tomorrow morning.
The Open division was dominated once again by Ricky Wysocki, who shot a lights out bogey-free round finishing 14 under par for the day with an unofficial 1092 rated round. He continues to hit 40' putts in 20mph wind as if they were drop-in gimmes. Combine that with pinpoint teeshots and approaches, and it's not hard to see why he's taken over the lead with no contenders in sight. On the few holes where he had less than perfect drives, he recovered without hesitation taking advantage of his ability to throw accurate forehand and backhand approaches.
The next best round of the day was an 8 down, shot by both Nikko Locastro and Paul Ulibarri. Paul McBeth finished the day just one stroke behind Ulibarri and Locastro with a 66. The 3 of them will join Wysocki on the lead card tomorrow afternoon, but it's much more of a race for 2nd place than it is for 1st. Locastro, McBeth, and Ulibarri are all tied for 2nd place currently at 10 under. Wysocki sits with more than a comfortable lead, 12 strokes better, at -22.
Ron Convers and Dave Hemmeline both played well, but the hot rounds of the players on the cards below them knocked them both down from the lead card to the chase card. Joining them will be Dave Feldberg and Austin local pro Bradley Williams, who finished the day 6 under par. There are plenty of opportunities for anyone to make big jumps in the ranks, or big drops, as there are 16 players all within 6 strokes of each other to start the final round tomorrow. The weather looks to be simimlar to today; sunny, windy, and near 90 degrees. Anything can happen at an NT. There is simply too much talent to ever predict who will finish where.
The pro womens' lead card tees off at 10:50AM and the open division lead card tees off at 1:30PM (Central Time). Photos from day one and day two are up on our PDGA Tour Flickr page. Check the live scores page tomorrow for hole-by-hole score updates and don't forget you can always follow @PDGAlive on Twitter for live commentary and pics. Good luck to all the players tomorrow at East Metro Park for what should be an exciting finish to the 2nd event of the National Tour Series presented by Vibram!