SPRINGDALE — With a number of things at the forefront of his mind, golf hasn’t exactly been Jacob Bartel’s top priority of late.
You wouldn’t be able to tell, though, by his scores through the first two rounds of the 79th annual Chick-A-Tee Invitational. After carding his second 4-under 68 in as many days, he will head into Sunday’s final round with a two-shot lead at 8-under.
79th Annual Dwight Collins Chick-A-Tee Invitational
WHEN June 16-18
WHERE Springdale Country Club
Second Round Results
“I’m shocked kind of at the way I’ve scored the last couple of days,” Bartel said laughing. “I’ve probably played just 3-4 rounds of golf this year. It’s been a pleasant surprise. I’m trying to build a house, got a baby on the way and trying to run a business, so not a lot of time for golf.
“I’m just going to go out there (Sunday) and take it one shot at a time,” he added. “I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I’ll go out and have fun and see what happens and enjoy it.”
Friday, an eagle on the par-5 12th hole propelled his 4-under round. Saturday, Bartel began his day with a bogey on the par-4 sixth hole, but bounced back on the seventh with a birdie, one of five on the day. Again, he found success on the course’s back nine, scoring birdies on the 12th and 14th holes.
“It’s a good hole, a good par 5,” he said of the 12th. “The key there is just finding the fairway. You do that and it’s a birdie hole, so you can take advantage.”
Matt Willmott, who shot 67 on Friday, finished the second ay with a 1-under 71. Entering the back nine, Willmott was 1-over, but was able to card three birdies to pull within two shots of Bartel heading into Sunday.
“My goal was to shoot 70,” Willmott said. “I hit the ball off the tee really well. I was in the fairway nearly every hole, which helps. Some of my approaches weren’t as good as they were yesterday. The first 3-4 holes I played I got above the hole, I just couldn’t be aggressive with them. But I held it together and made some birdies on the back.
“It’s different playing from the tips,” he continued, looking ahead to the final round. “I think it’ll be OK. It’s there for the taking, you’ve just got to be able to make putts.”
Bryon Shumate, similar to Willmott, found himself over par on the front, but rallied with birdies on the 12th, 13th and 17th holes. He carded a 3-under on the back nine and will be well within striking distance on Sunday at three shots back.
Steven Dixon, who shot 71 on Friday, was one of just a few players to match or better his score from round one. Dixon, entering the course’s back nine, was 1-over, but thanks to an eagle on 12 and birdie on the 14th hole went into the clubhouse 2-under for the day and five shots off Bartel’s lead.
Sports on 06/18/2017