PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Jeff Schmid of Columbia, Mo., used a second consecutive round in the 60s to take the 36-hole lead Friday at the 37th National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship presented by COBRA PUMA GOLF.
Schmid, PGA assistant professional at Perche Creek Golf Club in Columbia, Mo., posted a second-round 6-under-par 66 for a 134 total. He holds a four-stroke lead over Brett Carman of Claysville, Pa., Adam Gary of Bowling Green, Ky., Chris Trout of Fort Myers, Fla., and first-round leader Trent Rommann of Wichita, Kan.
Following today's play, the field was reduced to the low 70 scorers and ties, with 70 players making the cut at 6-over-par 150. The 72-hole National Championship runs through Sunday.
After opening with a 68 on Thursday on the Wanamaker Course, Schmid used eight birdies and an eagle on the par-5 16th hole to offset two bogeys and a double bogey.
“My scorecard was kind of a mess today, but a good mess for the most part,” said Schmid. “I have hit the ball extremely well both days, made a few putts, and now here I am.”
Schmid, 45, has good memories of playing on the Wanamaker Course, having won the Golden Bear Tour's GBT Classic in 2002.
“I’ve played a lot of golf out here and actually had the biggest check of my career on this golf course playing on the Golden Bear Tour,” said Schmid. “I know this is a place where I can make some birdies and feel confident that I can play well.”
He also finished 17th in the 2012 PGA Assistant Championship, his only other appearance in the event.
“It all comes down to the fact that you have to putt well out here to win,” said Schmid. “Hopefully I can do that this weekend.”
Carman, PGA apprentice at Dogwood Hills Golf Course in Claysville, Pa., used a second-round 68 that included a front-nine 31, to put himself in contention in his first appearance in the National Championship.
“I need to keep plugging away and give myself chances to make birdies,” said Carman. “The golf course is in great shape and that should make for a great finish.”
Ashley Grier of Hagerstown, Md., the first female to compete in the Championship since 2011, shot 73 in the second round and sits in a tie for 23rd overall.
The shot of the day belonged to Jim Troy of Elyria, Ohio, who used a 5-iron from 213 yards on the par-5 7th hole for a double eagle. Troy is in a tie for 6th overall.
“The wind was helping a little bit from left to right and I hit a real solid shot that faded perfectly,” Troy said about albatross. “It landed 10 feet short and trickled right in the hole. I was actually 90 percent sure it was in until I actually got to the green. It was nice to see.”
The 126-player field for the National Championship featured three of the top-4 finishers from last year's Championship as well as 123 players who advanced through their PGA Section Championships.
At stake is a berth in the 47th PGA Professional National Championship, June 22-25, 2014, in Myrtle Beach, S.C., at The Dunes Club and the Grande Dunes Resort Course.
The winner of the 2013 PGA Assistant Championship will collect $9,000 of a $100,000 purse.