PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Nobody mentioned “59” but you can imagine what teammates Denny Dolci and Kevin Shields were thinking Wednesday when they birdied the 11th hole to reach 9-under for the round.
Alas, they parred the next four holes on the Ryder Course and made just one more birdie to eventually “settle” for a 10-under 62 and take the second-round lead in the PGA Senior-Junior Championship at PGA Golf Club.
“We knew where we were at, so I guess we woke up,” joked Dolci, a PGA Teaching Professional at Tam O’Shanter Golf Club in Hermitage, Pa. “We were playing great. We didn’t hit any bad shots coming in, but we just didn’t hit it close enough and make some putts. It was all good.”
The Dolci-Shields pairing leads by a shot at 17-under 127. Dolci said he and Shields, who’s an instructor at The Club at Nevillewood in Presto, Pa., have good chemistry on the golf course. They have a pair of top-10 finishes in the last five years at the PGA Senior-Junior.
But they know they have to keep making birdies in the 72-hole event.
“There’s no letdown because there are too many good players in the field,” Dolci said.
Former Champions Tour winner Lon Nielsen teamed with Joshua Rackley to shoot even lower – an 11-under 61 – on the Ryder Course to move into a second-place tie with the Oklahoma team of Tim Graves and Shannon Friday (64).
Bruce Zabriski and Shawn Powers also shot a 61 on the Ryder to move into a fourth-place tie at 129 with Jeff Seavey and Shawn Warren (62).
The teams play one round each on the Dye, Ryder and Wanamaker courses before the low 40 and ties advance to Friday’s final round. The projected cut is 12-under.
The PGA Winter Championships are presented by Premier Golf and Golf Advisor.