NY State Amateur: Katz takes 2nd round lead

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (July 20, 2011) -- The second day of the 89th New York State Golf Association Men’s Amateur Championship was a wild one on Oak Hill’s West Course. Some players saw scores rise, others saw them fall, but Jake Katz was able to stay consistent, and his reward was the top of the leader board heading into the 36-hole finale.

Katz posted his second consecutive 69 (-1) to move ahead of Jeb Buchanan and first round leader Jimmy Welch. Katz’s 36 hole total stands at 138, placing him two shots ahead of Welch and Buchanan.

Yesterday, Katz had an up-and-down round that included four birdies, five bogeys, and an eagle. Today, he was able to play steadily, and carded four birdies once again – with only three bogeys. Katz pointed to his accuracy off the tee as crucial.

“It’s huge to be coming in from the fairway, that’s number one,” said Katz. “If you try to be aggressive from the rough, you’re going to be penalized, and you’re going to be mumbling to yourself coming off the green.”

Another improvement for Katz was his mid-range putting. On his first day he struggled to make anything more than a few feet.

“Making 10, 12 footers are huge,” said Katz, who posted a 35 on the front nine and 34 on the back, the same back and front nine scores he posted yesterday. “Those putts keep the round going for me.”

This is the second year Katz will be in the final group at the Men’s championship. Last year, he finished runner-up to Doug Kleeschulte.

“I know what to expect,” said Katz. “You just have to be patient.”

Welch got off to a rough start after him impressive day-one 66. He started on the back nine, and bogeyed 11 and 12, two holes he birded Tuesday. But he was able to weather the storm somewhat.

“I hung in there the best I could and I played those next six holes (on the back nine) at one over, which, when I made the turn, I was happy about,” said Welch.

Welch ended the day with four bogeys, two birdies, and one double bogey. The double came on the par-4 third hole, where Welch hit a nice approach into the green, but the ball bounced off into the rough behind the hole. From there, Welch said, he “made a mess of it.”

Still, at even par, Welch is just two behind entering the last day.

“So all in all a 74 I’m happy with, especially with the way I started,” said Welch. “I grinded it out and hung in there the best I could.”

Buchanan shot a 73, leaving him at even par after opening with a 67. It wasn’t an ideal round for Buchanan, who made three birdies, four bogeys, and a double bogey, but it was enough to move him along and keep him in a good spot.

“The greens were so firm that I missed a few fairways and I had trouble keeping the ball on the green let alone short of the pin,” said Buchanan. “I didn’t hit it quite as well. I still putted well and all in all I’m happy.”

As far as the tomorrow goes, Buchanan is up for the challenge

“All I’m worried about is just that first tee shot tomorrow,” said Buchanan. “I know you have to take it one shot at a time, so I’m just going to have that mind set tomorrow and see what happens.”

The low round of the day went to Carter Rufe, who shot a 67. His 36-hole total is 141 (+1).

“Today I worked out some kinks on the green and I made everything inside of ten feet,” said Rufe, whose home club is Red Hook Golf Club. “I started getting some confidence after making some four or five footers.”

The cut was 150 (+10). Forty-four players advanced to tomorrow, where they will play 36-holes. The leaders will tee off at 8:30am off the tenth tee, and then again around 1:30 off the first tee.

Full scores from day two, the second day’s photo gallery, as well as tomorrow’s pairings and tee times can be found at NYSGA.org

ABOUT THE New York State Amateur

This championship is a three-day 72-hole stroke play competition. The field will be cut after 36 holes to the low 40 players and ties. Entries will be limited to male amateur golfers who enjoy membership privileges at Clubs belonging to the New York State Golf Association, or are NYSGA Associate Members.

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