SCOTTSDALE, AZ – Oklahoma City native Brandt Jobe (Westlake, TX), a veteran of the PGA TOUR who also won six times on the Japan Golf Tour, fired a 6-under-par 65 on Wednesday and holds a one-stroke lead over Edmond resident and Oak Tree National member Willie Wood, a former winner on both the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions, and Gibby Gilbert (Ooletwah, TN), the first-round leader, at the midway point of the PGA TOUR Champions National Qualifying Tournament at TPC Scottsdale’s Champions Course.
Jobe made his debut on the PGA TOUR Champions in October at the San Antonio Championship and was T21 after open qualifying into the event. His second round today included seven birdies and was jump started with a 25-foot birdie putt at the par-4 5th hole. Jobe now stands at 11-under 131 after 36 holes thanks to 13 birdies, equaling Wood for the most birdies made over the first two days of the event.
"I played fairly solid but there’s still a few swings that I’d like to have back. I kept the ball in play and other than the putt at No. 5, I made the putts I was supposed to," Jobe said. "I’m hitting my short irons good and I’m extremely happy with the round today. I’ll just go out there and try to play the best I can each day and hope it’s good enough at the end."
Wood, who has two career wins on PGA TOUR Champions (2012 Dick’s Sporting Goods Open, 2012 Pacific Links Hawaii Championship) and finished T4 in the National Qualifying Tournament at this course in 2013, carded a second consecutive 5-under 66 Wednesday. He made six birdies, four of them coming with putts of 20 feet or more, before missing a five-foot par putt at the final hole.
"It was an odd round because I made quite a few long putts but missed a few short putts as well," Wood said. "I’m in good position and I’ve had success on this course before. I feel good about the way I’m playing and the weather is probably going to be good again. I’ll need to keep making birdies."
Gilbert started his second round with nine consecutive pars and then birdied three of his next five holes on the back nine to eventually post a bogey-free 68 on Wednesday. He’s made just one bogey over his first 36 holes.
"It was a little up and down today but I’m in great shape. If I drive the ball well, I’ll be fine because I’m doing everything else good," Gilbert said.
With ideal scoring conditions for the second straight day, there were 46 scores below par compared to 44 sub-par rounds on the first day. The field scoring average was 69.850 versus 70.050 yesterday.
There was no cut in the 72-hole qualifier. At the end of four rounds, the top-five finishers earn fully-exempt status through the re-order in the 2016 season, while the next seven players will be conditionally exempt. In addition, the top-30 finishers and ties will be eligible to compete for spots in open qualifiers at all co-sponsored events on the PGA TOUR Champions schedule in 2016.
Other players with Oklahoma ties in the field have work to do over the final 36 holes. Former University of Tulsa player Andre Bossert is tied for 30th at 3-under, Norman native Jeff Freeman is tied for 39th at 2-under, while former University of Oklahoma stars Grant Waite and Glen Day are tied for 54th at even par. Complete scores are on the PGA Tour site here.
Q-School Notes: After a 2-over 73 yesterday, Neil Lancaster (Smithfield, NC), the winner on the 1994 GTE Byron Nelson Golf Classic on the PGA TOUR, made eight birdies for a bogey-free, 8-under-par 63 on Wednesday and jumped up 54 spots in the standings into a T11, easily the biggest move by a player in the 80-man field Jose Coceres (El Chaco, Argentina), a winner of two PGA TOUR titles, holed a 3-wood second shot from 244 yards on the par-5 17th hole for a double eagle. Coceres is also T11 after his 5-under 67 today Through the first two rounds, the hardest hole has been the par-3 No. 6, with a stroke average of 3.238 (10 birdies).