CHULA VISTA, Calif. (Aug. 8, 2007)-- Keegan Bradley of Jackson, Wyo., fired a 2-under-par 70 today and has a one-shot lead over three golfers at the midpoint of the 41st Pacific Coast Amateur Championship at San Diego Country Club.
Bradley, a 21-year-old student at St. John's University in New York City, leads defending champion Patrick Nagle of Pacifica, Calif., who posted his second consecutive round of 70 today; co-first-round leader Cameron Tringale of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., who slipped from a 67 yesterday to a 1-over-par 73 today; and Ryan Posey of Dallas, Tex., who was a shot behind the leaders beginning today’s round but could manage only an even-par 72. All three are at 140, 4-under-par over the 7,033-yard San Diego CC layout.
Brady Exber of Las Vegas, one of two 51-year-olds in the field, also shot even par today and is alone in fifth place at 141, 3-under-par.
Nine golfers are tied at 2-under-par, including University of San Diego golf coach Tim Mickelson and reigning California Amateur champion Josh Anderson of nearby Murrieta.
The tournament’s third round is tomorrow and the championship concludes Friday. Tee times tomorrow begin at 7:30 a.m. with the leaders going off the first tee at 9:27 a.m.
Bradley, whose father runs the Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis Club, came into the tournament with high expectations.
“I came in expecting to win,” said Bradley after his round, “and I’m very happy where I’m sitting right now,” despite the fact that, by his assessment, he played less than stellar golf.
“I didn’t hit it all that well today,” he said. "But I scrambled really well and somehow found a way to get the ball in the cup.”
Although Bradley made four bogeys on his concluding nine holes, he pointed to the 12th hole (his third of the day) as the key.
“I plugged my approach shot in the bunker and all I could do was smash it out,” he said. “But I chipped in from 60 feet for par and that jump-started my round.”
Overall, Bradley had five birdies, a bogey and a double-bogey 6 on his 14th hole of the day.
Nagle is bidding to become just the third player in the tournament’s 41-year-history to win consecutive titles, following Mike Davis in 1969-70 and Billy Mayfair in 1987-88.
“The history crossed my mind a little bit coming in,” said Nagle, “but you can’t think about it now.”
As did virtually every other golfer, Nagle pointed to the course’s slick, sloping greens as the key to victory.
“I knew coming in that the winner would be someone who putted really well, and I haven’t done that,” he said. “I haven’t putted poorly but I’ve had some putts roll over edges and it’s really tough to go low without making those.”
Nagle will be in the final pairing tomorrow with Bradley and Posey.
--Story by Robert D. Thomas, SCGA