By Clair Goodwin
The Joplin Globe
Defending champion Evan Wood wasn’t happy with his driver most of Sunday’s second round of the 38th Joplin Globe City Championship at Scifferdecker Municipal Golf Couse. But despite his problems off the tee, Wood carded a four-under 67 and built a seven-shot lead going into next Satuday’s finale at Twin Hills Golf and Country Club.
Wood hit 12 greens during the round, but managed to find fairways only three times.
“My driving wasn’t consistent and I found some unusual lies out there” Wood said. “But my putting is getting better than it has been in the past.”
He dropped five birdie putts ranging from 20 feet to less than a foot.
Wood’s driving woes were mitigated by strong iron play and tee shots that left him only 40 or 50 yards to some of the par-four greens. His lone bogey came at the par four 11th when he hit his approach shot short, chipped off bare ground to eight feet and missed.
The 67 coupled with a 73 at Briarbrook in the first round of the tornament on Saturday gave Wood considerable breathing room in the chase for the Joplin City Championship title.
Seven shots back is Andy Franklin of the Joplin Golf Club, who carded rounds of 73 and 74. Andrew Maier and Bill Curry, both also represending the Joplin Golf Club, are tied for third place and one shot behind Franklin.
Several of the competitors complained about their putters betraying them Saturday, particularly on short putts.
“I putted horrible both days (Saturday at Briarbrook Golf Club and Sunday at Schifferdecker),” said Curry, who is eight shots out of the lead. “I got too tentative. I had no idea where the ball was going. I missed a short putt on 18 for a birdie and four others from six-feet or less.”
Doug Harvey of Briarbrook and Justin Nichols of the JGC are tied for fifth with 149.
Bunched at 151 are Corey Clingan of Briarbrook and the Joplin Golf Club’s Brian Black and Tug Baker.
At 10-over par 152 is Jared Allison of the Jopin Golf Club. Chris Mitchell of Briarbrook is at 153.
The Joplin Golf Club has the lead in the team comptition with a two=day score of 740 to 752 for Briarbrook and 768 for Twin Hills. Only the low five scores for each of the 10-member teams is counted in the team totals.
The final round of the tournament is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Twin Hills. Pairings will be announced later in the week.