Chris Baryla took a big step toward getting his 2011 PGA Tour card Thursda, as he shot an 11-under 61 to lead by one stroke after the second of six rounds at the PGA Tour Q-School finals.
Baryla was tied for 65th after Wednesday’s first round. After Thursday’s round at the Crooked Cat course at Orange County National, he is at 10-under 133. He is a shot ahead of Ben Martin, who had a 68.
2010 PGA TOUR Q-SCHOOL FINALS
The top 25 finishers and ties after Monday's sixth round will earn full playing privileges on the 2011 PGA Tour.
Brett Waldman bogeyed two of his last three holes for a 72, leaving him seven shots behind but still very much alive in his quest for a card. Waldman is the caddie for Camilo Villegas who had to go through pre-qualifying and two other stages to reach the Q-School finals.
The top 25 after six rounds earn PGA Tour cards for 2011. The next 50 are exempt on the Nationwide Tour.
Baryla graduated from the Nationwide Tour in 2009 and was a member of the PGA Tour in 2010 but made only seven starts (two cuts) before having surgery on his left hip following the Shell Houston Open in early April. He didn’t pick up a club for nearly five months and returned to the Nationwide Tour to make a pair of starts late in the year as part of his rehab process. He will play on the PGA Tour in 2011 with a Major Medical Extension but says he’s here this week under “greedy status” as he hopes to improve his eligibility standing.
Baryla’s 11-under 61 is a course record at Crooked Cat, bettering the pair of 62s that Frank Lickliter posted in the first and second rounds of this event in 2007. It’s also his career-best, topping his low on the PGA Tor (66) and his low on the Nationwide Tour (63).
Second-placed Martin, the runner-up at the 2009 U.S. Amateur, completed his degree at Clemson in December of 2009 but did post-graduate work in order to compete for the Tigers last spring. He is a three-time Atlantic Coast Conference selection.
First-round leader Kyle Stanley shot a 1-under 70 at Panther Lake and is at 8 under after the first two days, and tied for third Sunghoon Kang. Stanley reached 10 under par with three birdies on his first five holes before suffering a double bogey on his sixth hole of the day. He added two more birdies before making bogey on two of his final three holes.
Martin and Stanley are former teammates at Clemson. In fact there are six former Tigers in this week’s field: Martin, Stanley, Tommy Biershenk, Brent Delahoussaye, Eliot Gealy and Charles Warren.
Scott Verplank (1997), Frank Lickliter (2007) and Troy Merritt (2009) are the only players since 1992 to hold or share the lead after each round of the tournament. Verplank is the only player to hold the lead outright for all six rounds.
Briny Baird had a 13-stroke turnaround from Wednesday’s opener, which saw him post a 79 at Crooked Cat. Baird shot a 5-under 66 Thursday at Panther Lake and moved up into a tie for 75th.
Baryla, Jarrod Lyle, Richard Lee and Gavin Coles all were bogey-free on Thursday. Coles parred all 18 holes in his 72 at Crooked Cat.