The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


July 27, 2013

Lais opens five-shot lead at Twin Hills Invitational

JOPLIN, Mo. — Barrett Lais labeled his round on Saturday as “kind of boring.”

But there certainly was some late excitement as he holed a 50-foot birdie putt on his penultimate hole to spice a second-round 1-under-par 71 and open a five-stroke advantage in the 61st Twin Hills Invitational.

Lais, who claimed the first-round lead with a 69 on Friday, is 4-under 140 after two trips over the Twin Hills Golf and Country Club layout.

“I’m playing good right now,” Lais said. “I want to keep trying to do the same things ... hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens and not three-putt and give any shots back.”

Tim Wagaman and Evan Wood are tied for second at 145. Wagaman birdied the first three holes and had four birdies and three bogey in a second-round 71. Wood shot 73 with three birdies and four bogeys in his 38-35 round.

Scott Martin is fourth at 75-146, but he withdrew from the tournament after Saturday’s round because of an injury.

Two-time defending champion Kyle Long and Andrew Watts are next at 147. Watts almost matched the scorecard with birdies on 17 and 18, a bogey on 4 and 15 pars for a 71. Long shot 74 with two birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey-7 on 15.

The lead is just one shot in the other three flights of the under-50 division.

Bradley Buttner and Brian Faulkner are tied for first in President’s Flight with 155, Greg Musick and Scott Martin lead First Flight at 158, and Patrick Scott tops Second Flight with 172.

Mike Cutshall, after a 2-under 70 from the white tees, leads the Senior Division with 143, good for a five-shot advantage over Bob McKay, who posted his second 74. A bogey on the ninth hole gave Cutshall a 37 at the turn, then he shot 33 on the back nine with birdies on 13, 15 and 18.

Other Senior Division leaders: Fred Baker in President’s Flight with 159, James Nichols in First Flight with 163 and Brent Finley, Dave Holt and Stan Bridgeford in Second Flight with 180.

The final round is set for today. The senior flights will be played in the morning, starting at 7:30, and the younger flights will move to the starting tees at 12:30 p.m.

After Friday’s rainy weather to open the tournament, the entire second round was played under sunny skies.

“In the morning the greens were smoother and you were able to make more putts,” Lais said. “It was windy when we teed off (at 7:40), tougher than (Friday) afternoon. It blew a consistent 15-20 (mph) all day.”

Lais, the men’s assistant golf coach at Arkansas, started on No. 10, and he hit a wedge within a foot for a tap-in birdie to begin his round. He reached the par-5 No. 15 in two and two-putted for birdie but gave one shot back when he bogeyed 17.

Moving to the front side, he parred the first six holes, including one-putts on the second, third and fourth holes after missing the green. A bogey on the par-5 seventh hole dropped him to par for the day, and his shot on the par-3 eighth hole hit the right front of the green that had a back-left pin. But Lais made the unlikely birdie and ended his round with a par on 9.

“It’s one of those putts you try to lag close,” said Lais, who tied for 10th in the Ozark Amateur two weeks ago. “It came after a bad bogey on 7. The bermuda rough here ... if you don’t hit the fairway, you’ll have a flyer. I had a flyer, missed the green and hit a bad chip.

“I hit the ball great on my first nine holes and was able to get up-and-down and save par on the greens I missed on the front. My chipping was better today. That keeps your round going.”

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