WEST VANCOUVER, British Columbia (July 23, 2013) - Tyler Raber of El Macero, California continued his torrid pace at the 47th Pacific Coast Amateur Championship to open up a four stroke lead heading into third round action at the Capilano Golf and Country Club (par 70, 6706 yards) in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
After posting a sizzling 7-under-par 63 in his first round, Raber's nerves were tested during round two action on Capilano's difficult fast & undulating greens but he showed he was ready for the pressure. Raber would open his front nine with three birdies on holes three, five and six to jackrabbit out of the gate with three-under 33. He would trade a single birdie on hole 12 with a bogey on the difficult 490-yard par-4 17th to post a second round 67.
Raber, a recent University of California-Davis graduate and the 2012 Trans-Mississippi champion, now sits at 10 for the Championship at the storied Capilano Golf and Country Club, four strokes ahead of his nearest competitor (63-67--130).
Asked how it feels to lead by four heading into tomorrow, Raber spoke frankly. "It feels good. I have played this tournament a number of times. The last couple of years I haven't played as well as I would have liked so it is nice to get off to a really good start at this tournament and get in contention and see what that is all about."
Sitting alone in second place after a second round 66 is Santa Cruz, California's Cory McElyea. McElyea, a senior on the University of San Francisco Dons Men's Golf team, was part of a group of players log-jammed at 2-under par after yesterday's first round before vaulting himself into solo second with a five birdie, one bogey performance. McElyea, with rounds of 68-66--134, is 6-under par with 36-holes left in the Championship.
Holding position in solo third is local West Vancouverite and Capilano Golf and Country Club member Kevin Spooner. Spooner, a graduate of the University of Washington Husky's golf program, who once posted an unofficial 58 at his home club during a men's night, lamented on what could have been a spectacular round.
"I definitely got off to a hot start with a nice three on one, a three on two and an eagle on three. Always a nice way to start, four under through three," stated Spooner.
"I kept on hitting good shots, felt good with the putter and was six under through eight and was very close to being 29 [on the front], just burning the edge. I was feeling good but just made an unfortunate triple on 10 with a combination of a bad break and a bad decision but I was happy with the way I came back. Overall, I am pretty happy with my round."
Spooner's line of 69-66--135 (-5) places him five strokes back of Raber's pace and will have him slotted in the final pairing off at noon in tomorrow's third round.
Tying Spooner and McElyea for the round-of-the-day was Berkeley, California's Pace Johnson. After opening with a three-over-par 73 yesterday, the recent graduate of the University of California Bruins Men's Golf team leapfrogged the leaderboard into the red numbers.
Johnson sat at six-under-par on his round heading into the final hole, a 574-yard uphill par 5 with the picturesque Capilano club house as the backdrop. Unfortunately, Johnson would double bogey to drop two strokes and post a 66. Johnson's two round 73-66--139, -1 total places him nine strokes back of Raber's torrid pace.
A total of 13 players now sit under par for the Championship including defending champion David Fink of Corvallis, Ore. (70-67--137) and San Diego, California's Eric Sugimoto (68-69--137)
Following second round action, the annual two-day Morse Cup team competition closed with the winning team representing the Northern California Golf Association (NCGA) narrowly edging the defending champion trio representing the Pacific Northwest Golf Association. The team competition uses the best two scores from each 3-player team.
Representing the victorious NCGA team are McElyea, Johnson and Seaside, California's Nick Moore. The NCGA worked off the great rounds posted on day two by McElyea and Johnson to post a 36-hole cumulative team score of 141-132--273 (-7) to slide by the PNGA and claim the trophy who scored 141-134--275 (-5) over two days.
Tomorrow's action is slated to begin at 7:30am PST at the Capilano Golf and Country Club. Spectators are welcomed and encouraged to attend.