PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (July 16, 2011) -– Casey Boyns, playing his freshman season as a senior golfer in 2011, leads the NCGA Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Poppy Hills.
The 55-year-old posted a stellar 5-under-par 67 in the second round, which featured six birdies against one bogey. The Pacific Grove resident and Pebble Beach caddie is seeking an unprecedented 15th NCGA major title and his second Stroke Play Championship, having previously won in 2007.
St. Mary’s Golf Coach Scott Hardy, the 2004 champion and current NCGA Public Links champion, duplicated Boyns’ 67 and is one off the lead. Hardy finished third in this same event in 2010 after entering the final round with the lead. He will play in the final group for the second year in a row.
First-round leader Cory McElyea of Santa Cruz, a rising sophomore at the University of Washington, was unable to duplicate his opening 67, struggling in posting a 4-over 76, finishing six behind the leader. He finished second in this same event in 2010. Nicholas Brown (Whitney Oaks) and Joshua Stone (Swenson Park) are tied for third at three under for the championship, four off the pace.
Defending champion Kevin Lucas of Folsom is nine shots back after a second-round 75 left him two over par for the championship. The University of Nevada-Reno student set a tournament scoring record of 11-under 205 in 2010, breaking the previous record by four shots.
NCGA Senior Point leader Jim Knoll of Rooster Run continued a strong performance, ending up even par for the tournament, seven behind Boyns.
After a first round that saw 16 players break par with six shooting in the 60s, the second round produced the higher scores more characteristic of Poppy Hills. Seven players are in red numbers overall at the conclusion of round two.
This is the eighth playing of the championship, but an earlier iteration of the event dates to 1944, and lists NCGA luminaries such as Ken Venturi, Harvey Ward, George Archer and Johnny Miller as champions. After a nearly 40-year hiatus, the tournament began again in 2004.
The championship was cut at the conclusion of the round to the players with the low 40 scores and ties for Sunday’s final round. The cut came at +7 (151) with a perfect 40 players earning a spot in the final round.