Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Worrell Maintains Lead with 3-Under 69 at Firekeeper Classic

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Worrell Maintains Lead with 3-Under 69 at Firekeeper Classic

Article excerpt

MAYETTA -- Chris Worrell was never in danger of missing the cut Wednesday in the Firekeeper Classic.

Still, the former Tulsa golfer convinced himself he was in jeopardy.

After shooting 1 over through six holes, including a double bogey on the 480-yard 15th, a difficult par 4, Worrell inspired himself by sensing he was in trouble.

"I don't play with the lead very often,'' he said of the position he established with a sizzling 64 in the first round. "Not many of us do, so it was different. I played a little too conservatively and had some loose shots the first five or six holes, but then I started to understand I needed to start playing or I was going to miss the cut.''

Worrell, who is from Enid, Okla., not only improved, he retained his lead by carding a 3-under 69. His two-round total of 133 gave him a one-stroke edge over Andrew Landry, Fergal Rafferty and Alex Moon. Landry posted the top score in Wednesday's calm, and comfortable, conditions, a 7-under 65. Moon managed the best round of the afternoon group with a 66.

The bounce-back manufactured by Worrell came on the front nine, where he made three birdies, as well as an eagle on the par-5 sixth hole.

"You play like you've got something, but you don't,'' said Worrell, whose best finish so far on the Adams Tour was a tie for 15th.

"It's hard to tell yourself it's just the first round of the tournament, even though 64 is my low round as a pro. This is my fourth event. It's hard, but I thought I managed it pretty well once I got going. I wish I could have those first few holes back.''

Former Kansas State golfer Mitchell Gregson was left wishing his finish had been better.

Gregson, who is from Waterloo, Ill., was 4 under through his first eight holes, but finished even for his round after opening with a 66. He too was a bit unnerved by the prospect of being atop the field.

"I was creeping up there toward the lead, and I kind of got tight,'' said Gregson, who is tied for 11th. …

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