Joe Lyons (Golfweek Photo)
and his fellow countrymen are 18 holes away from a wire-to-wire victory at the Golfweek International Senior Invitational.
Lyons maintained his three-stroke lead at 6 under despite a second-round 2-over 73. Off and on rain made Cartersville Country Club play longer than it did in round one, making scoring a premium. The wet conditions allowed Lyons to lean on his knowledge from back home and adapt it to the Bermuda grass he’s not fully accustomed to.
“I’m not all that new to Bermuda,” Lyons told Golfweek. “I have an idea. I still wouldn’t say I’m entirely comfortable on it [Bermuda grass]. Basically, I’m just hitting bunker shots out of the rough and trying to convince myself.”
One thing Lyons is a bit more familiar with? Leading.
“It’s always hard when you’re you’re out on your own in front. I’ve won events back home potter to post. It’s a difficult thing to do because you’re sleeping on the lead. You know the stats are not good for people following a low round but I’m very happy with today’s round.”
With a history of being able to close out championships, Lyons has a simple game plan for Saturday’s final round, albeit a difficult game plan to execute.
“Just try to play like yesterday.”
Giving chase are Utah’s Shane McMillan and Oklahoma’s Michael Hughett, both at 3 under. Behind them are two members of the ‘Georgia Mafia’, Bob Royak at 2 under and Mike Combs at 1 under. Wes McNulty at 1 under hopes to help Team Arkansas erase Ireland’s one-shot lead.
Three more players are in a tie for seventh at even par, and another six players are within seven shots of Lyons, making every shot count come Saturday.
On the team side, Ireland holds a slight one-shot lead after a second-round charge from Team Arkansas.
All three players from Arkansas carded sub-par rounds, with McNulty with a 3-under 69 and Stan Payne with a 2-under 70 acting as the counting scores. Gordy McKeown carded a 1 under 71 to move inside the top 10 at 1 under for the championship.
Bob Royak’s Georgia team is at even and three back of Ireland. South Carolina is 1 over, and California is 2 over to round out the top five. Five more teams are within eight shots of the lead.
With cool, breezy, and sunny conditions anticipated for Saturday, plenty of scoring opportunities should make the final round a fun one.
ABOUT THE International Senior Invitational
The International Senior Invitational is a multi-state
and multi country team golf tournament with
recognition for the individual stroke-play champion.
The event includes the best Senior (ages 50+)
golfers in the world with invitations based on WAGR
ranking and recent tournament performance.
Field size 44 three-man teams.
TEAM Championship: 3 players per team
represented. 2 out of 3 scores will count for each
day of play.
INDIVIDUAL Championship. The tournament is a
WAGR nationally ranked points event. The
tournament is a 54-hole stroke play championship.
View Complete Tournament Information