By Jack Persons, AmateurGolf.com
UPDATE (July 10, 2014): Stormy conditions in Tulsa have led to the cancellation of the third round. Tee times will be pushed back five hours and the final round will commence at 1:00 CDT.
TULSA, Okla. (July 9, 2014) -- Will Zalatoris has a one-stroke advantage on the field heading into the final day of the Trans-Mississippi Championship.
Zalatoris, an incoming freshman at Wake Forest, fired a two-under 68 in the second round on Wednesday, and leads Alex Franklin of Oregon State by one.
Zalatoris started off his day with a birdie, but dropped back with bogeys on three and four.
"I kind of hit the 'reset button,' which is silly to say after four holes," Zalatoris told the Trans-Miss Golf Association in an interview. "I hit a good drive on the (par-5) fifth hole and had 265 yards to the green. I hit a great shot onto the green and two-putted for birdie. So I treated it like a new round from that point."
He followed up that birdie with one on the seventh, a sweeping dogleg par-4.
He also birdied the 10th hole and then parred the rest of the back nine to card 68 and a two-day total of 135, one better than Franklin.
Up-and-down defined Franklin’s round, as he birdied his first hole as well, but bogeyed the 12th, his third hole of the day, and followed it up with a double on 13, as he hit his approach shot in the hazard in front of the green.
He then birdied the long par-3 14th, but bogeyed the very next hole, and turned at two-over 37.
Birdies on the third, seventh, and ninth, paired with six pars, led to an incoming three-under 32, a four-under 136 two-day total, and the clubhouse lead, until Zalatorias finished one better.
Cheng Jin of Singapore, and Brian Campbell of the University of Illinois fired the low rounds of the day, as both shot three-under 67 to vault up the leaderboard.
Jin made an ace on his second hole of the day, the 11th, to jump-start his round. He moved up to a tie for 21st with his 67 after a tough first round 76.
Campbell, who is in the thick of things heading into Thursday’s finale, shot three-under 32 on his first nine, the back nine. He then bogeyed the long par-4 second, but made up for it with birdies on four and six to get to four-under for the day. He three-putted his last hole of the day, the ninth, to post 67.
It seemed every putt Campbell hit either went in or just missed. At least a half-dozen of his birdie tries ended up an inch or two from the hole, but a smidge left or right. If he gets hot on Thursday and finds himself at the top of the leaderboard, don’t be surprised.
Knowing the tricks and subtleties of the notoriously difficult Southern Hills, and considering there are still 36 holes to be played in brutally hot conditions—Thursday’s high is 91, though the heat index will be even higher—the Trans-Miss is very much anyone’s to win.
The tournament cut the field to the low 54 players and ties after Wednesday’s second round. 68 players came in at seven-over 147 or better.
For results from the first two rounds and live scoring for Thursday’s final two rounds, follow the link below.