Ex-software developer Affrunti codes three-shot Chattanooga Classic lead



Published: Friday, October 08, 2010 | 8:12 p.m.

Joe Affrunti fired a 6-under 66 Friday and grabbed a three-stroke lead at the halfway point of the Nationwide Tour’s Chattanooga Classic. Affrunti, a 29-year-old rookie from Chicago, is at 14-under 130 and atop the leaderboard for the first time this season.

“It’s the second day,” he said. “It really doesn’t matter until the back nine on Sunday.”

Affrunti’s three-shot lead is the largest after 36 holes in the tournament’s eight-year run at Black Creek Club. Ryan Amour had the day’s best round, a 7-under 65, and shares second place with lefty Ted Potter Jr.

David Branshaw has posted consecutive 67s for a 10-under 134 and is tied for fourth with 31-year-old William McGirt (70) from South Carolina. Seven players are tied for sixth place at 9 under, five back of the leader.

Affrunti’s second round was similar to his first-round 64, except for the fact that he failed to birdie the two par 5s on the back nine.

“If you don’t birdie them, you’re giving a shot away,” he said. “I had a utility (club) into 18 and didn’t make birdie and I had a 5-iron into the other one and didn’t make birdie. They’re par 4s when you have irons like that into them.”

The 5-foor-7 University of Illinois graduate isn’t one of the big hitters on Tour. He is ranked No. 114 in average driving distance at 288.9 yards.

“If I can reach them in two, everyone can reach them in two,” he laughed.

Second-Round Notes: A total of 63 players made the 36-hole cut, which came at 3-under 141. It matches the highest cut in the tournament’s eight years (2009). The lowest cut was 7-under in 2006. … Joe Affrunti is No. 43 on the money list with $117,433. A first-place check of $90,000 would vault him into the top 25 on the money list with only three events left on the schedule. Scott Parel has been successful in three of his six attempts to Monday qualify. Parel, 41, graduated from the University of Georgia but didn’t play college golf. He was a software developer for several years before trying his hand at professional golf. He has had status on the Nationwide Tour in five of the past six years.

First-round lead Todd Demsey shot a 3-over 75 today. He opened with a 10-under 62 Thursday. He is tied for 16th. … Ted Potter Jr. leads the field with 16 birdies. He ran off a string of seven birdies in a nine-hole stretch starting at the par-5 18th. Potter had five consecutive birdies to get to 12 under par with one hole to go. His second shot wound up in a greenside bunker when his back foot slipped in the fairway. Potter settled for a bogey-5 to drop into a tie for second place with Ryan Armour. … Bronson La’Cassie has eagled the par-5 14th both days. La’Cassie has opened with back-to-back 69s.

Jason Schultz, winner of the 2005 tournament, posted a 5-under 67 and is at 6-under par 138. Schultz has made only two cuts in eight starts this season. He posted scores of 75-65 but missed the cut at last week’s Soboba Golf Classic. He tied for second at the Price Cutter Charity Championship in August. His paycheck there of $46,666 accounts for most of his earnings in 2010 and he entered the week No. 93 on the money list. … Monday qualifier Eric Anderson, an elementary school teacher, recorded two eagles today (Nos. 6, 14). Anderson shot a 2-over 74 and missed the cut. … Luke List, who went to high school in the Chattanooga area (Baylor school), fired a 1-over 73 and is at 5-under 139. List is currently tied for 37th.