PJ Maybank III shot a second round 64
PJ Maybank III didn't buckle under the pressure of sitting atop the Azalea Invitational leaderboard in the second round. The high school senior will spend at least one more night sleeping on the lead. He bettered his blistering opening round 66 by two shots with a 64, putting him two shots clear of second place at 12-under par.
The brunt of Maybank III's work was done in the middle of the round. He started his round with a double bogey but then ripped off six birdies and an eagle from hole Nos. 4-13, including a birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie stretch.
The one player that kept touch with Maybank III was Calahan Keever
, a freshman at Anderson University. Keever shot a solid opening round 68, and he backed it up with a 64 of his own on Friday afternoon. Over his 36 holes, he's made just two bogeys and is currently 10-under par.
The chasing pack
While Maybank III and Keever have separated themselves, there are still 36 holes left to play and plenty of talent of all ages ready to chase them down.
Tied in third place at five-under par are Mid-Am Bryce Hanstad
, Florida Gulf Coast commit Brody Stevenson
, and Flordia Gator Joseph Pagdin
is part of a four-way tie for sixth at four-under par. The 2022 U.S. Mid-Am champion is back in the United States from Northern Ireland as he preps for his appearance in The Masters.
The cadre of golfers at three-under would make anyone's knees knock. Nate Smith
, Luke Poulter
(Ian Poulter's son), Nicholas Prieto
, and Bo Carpenter
certainly have the firepower to go low and make the final round very interesting.
Poulter isn't the only son of a professional in the field. John Daly II
slipped down the leaderboard with a one-over 72.
Notables near the cut line
After 54 holes, the field is cut to the top 60 and ties. Some players will need a solid third round to make the cut. GAP Mid-Am champ Troy Vannucci
has already recorded three top tens this year, including a second place in the Florida Azalea.He shot 73-76 and is currently on the outside looking in. He'll need a strong third round to have a spot in the final day.
is also on the outside looking in right now. He shot two straight 75s and currently sits in a tie for 77th place.
Brandt Snedecker's brother, Haymes, is also hovering near the cut line. A solid 70 in the second round made up for a disappointing 76 on Thursday. He's in a tie for 49th.
Where's the defending champ?
Defending champion Luke Clanton
, a freshman at Florida State is not in the field. It's likely due to the fact that the Seminoles will compete in the Valspar Collegiate on Monday and Tuesday. Even for the youthful Clanton, that would be a lot of golf and tight travel to get from Charleston to Palm City, Florida.
ABOUT THE Azalea Invitational
72-hole stroke play championship with a 54-hole cut
Seth Raynor design. Good mix of college
and mid amateurs. 7 spots available in a
Impressive list of past champions at this
traditional event. Reigning USGA champs often use
this tournament as a tune-up for the Masters.
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