North Carolina Senior: Jim Grainger holds second round advantage
Jim Grainger leads NC Senior Amateur Championship <br>(Carolinas Golf Association)</br>
Jim Grainger leads NC Senior Amateur Championship
(Carolinas Golf Association)
WILMINGTON, NC (May 17, 2016) - First round leader Jim Grainger, of Charlotte, NC followed his opening round 66 with an even-par round of 72 to take a four shot lead into the final round. Grainger carded two birdies and two bogeys on the day. "They say ignorance is bliss," said Grainger. "Yesterday I didn’t know where I stood with the field, today was stressful knowing where I stood.”

This is a familiar position for Grainger, who has finished runner-up four straight years in the championship. “I did not think I would be in this position,” on his chance to win for a fifth year in a row. “This was going to have to run out at some point, but I’m excited to have the opportunity.”

Four strokes behind Grainger is fellow Charlotte native Robby Kirby who shot 70 to put his two-day total at 142. Kirby was in the same position last year five strokes behind Grainger, “I just have to play better, have to make some putts.” Kirby said on his chance to win in 2016.

Three players sit tied for third five strokes back, Harrison Rutter of Winston-Salem, NC, Ed Byman of Raleigh, NC and Doug Owens of Albemarle, NC.

Seven time and defending champion Paul Simson, of Raleigh, NC carded a one-under par 71 and is tied for 6th six shots back.

61 players made the 36 hole cut at 10-over-par 154. Final round tee times will begin from the 1st and 10th tees at 8:00am with the leaders starting at 9:40am.


Seven birdies and a lone bogey led to a six-under-par 66 for Jim Grainger, 59, of Charlotte, NC. Starting on the back nine at Porters Neck Country Club, Grainger birdied holes 11, 12 and 13 to fuel his hot start and added a birdie on 17 to turn at four-under.

"I felt very relaxed out there and made some putts early on and kept hitting good golf shots," said Jim Grainger. "When I had a birdie opportunity, I made the putt.” Grainger, who is currently the Carolinas Senior Four-Ball Champion with partner Jim Pearson, had his putter to thank after the round of the day. “My friends do not consider me a good putter, but something has happened and I like it.

Grainger has finished runner-up in the NC Senior Championship four years in a row, losing in a sudden death playoff three of those years. When asked if this is his year to finally break through, he responded “I do not know (but if) I can be in the mix on the final day it will be fun." Grainger has been in the position before, “I came down here with the intentions of being nervous on the final day.” With one more round like today, and he will not have a reason to be nervous.

Alone in second place at three-under-par, three shots back of Grainger, is 55-year-old Harrison Rutter of Winston-Salem, NC. Preston Edmondson of Raleigh, NC shot two-under par and is four shots back. Defending champion Paul Simson, 65, of Raleigh, NC carded a one-over 73 and is tied for 12th.

The North Carolina Senior Amateur Championship is 54 holes of stroke play. After 36 holes, the field is cut to the low 60 scores and ties.

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