SEA ISLAND, GA (February 4, 2017) -- The brilliant play of Braden Thornberry continued during Saturday's Jones Cup Invitational second round. After shooting a 5-under 67 in the first round at the Ocean Forest Golf Club, Thornberry battled difficult second round conditions to tie for the low round of the day with an even-par 72 that kept him at 5-under for the tournament. Playing conditions were so challenging on Saturday that the field scoring average was 79.88.
With temperatures hanging around 50 degrees and the winds blowing at a consistent 15-20 mph with gusts getting above 30 mph Thornberry was able to extend his advantage and build a six-stroke lead heading into Sunday's final round.
“I was talking this morning about how this weather kind of helps me, having a two-shot lead, and if you can go out in play a good round in these conditions, a lot of people are going to back up,” Thornberry told Golfweek. “It brings it down to just a few people you have to beat on the last day.”
Thornberry, a sophomore at Ole Miss, started his round birdie-bogey-birdie before hanging on the rest of the day. There was one slip up in the form of a 14th hole double-bogey but Thornberry was able to hang tough the rest of the round with three straight pars and a closing birdie. The three-time winner in the fall will be the only player under-par when the final round begins on Sunday.
The closest pursuer to Thornberry is Vanderbilt senior Matthias Schwab. On Saturday, a day where nobody broke par, Schwab shot a 1-over 73 to finish the day in second place and at 1-over-par overall.
3-over through five holes Schwab turned his day around with 6th and 8th hole birdies and after a bogey on the 12th he rolled in an eagle on the par-5 14th to return to even-par. Unfortunately, Schwab stumbled on the final hole with a bogey to increase his two round deficit to six-strokes.
A trio of players that includes LSU sophomore Sam Burns, Wofford senior Andrew Novak and Alabama commit Wilson Furr are currently sharing third place at 2-over.
Despite the large advantage for Thornberry the rest of the field should be encouraged by the final round forecast. Similar to the first round the forecast calls for temperatures in the upper 60's and light winds at just 5-10 mph.
Hole-In-One Alert: LSU commit Garrett Barber had the highlight of the day with a hole-in-one on the 169 yard par-3 15th.
-Golfweek provided information for this story