Flesch takes narrow second round lead

Steve Flesch fired a seven-under-par 65 yesterday to take a one-shot lead after the second round of the Turning Stone Resort Championship.

Steve Flesch fired a seven-under-par 65 yesterday to take a one-shot lead after the second round of the Turning Stone Resort Championship.

A 10-year veteran, Flesch won the Reno-Tahoe Open in early August to claim a third career title and is on track for another this weekend after producing a stellar second round.

Flesch started on the back nine at Atunyote Golf Club, holing three birdies and a three-shot eagle over his first five holes.

The Cincinnati native headed into the turn at 12-under overall and picked up another stroke with a birdie on the par-four second hole.

Flesch carded five straight pars on the front nine before carding a birdie at the par-five eighth to climb to 14-under overall.

But Flesch bogeyed his final hole to finish the round with an overall score of 13-under 131 to take a one stroke lead over American Jeff Gove and Zimbabwe’s Brendon de Jonge at the halfway point.

“I’ve always said my iron game is the strength of my game,” said Flesch. “And when you give us generous fairways like this, my driving accuracy is decent. But if I get the ball on the fairway, I usually can find the pins with my irons.

“On my back nine, I lost a little bit of rhythm, was in between clubs a lot. But the front nine, every yardage I got was just like the perfect number for the iron I had.

“And I managed to make some putts. But that ninth hole has given me some problems so far. But that’s all right. I’m still glad to be leading.”

First-round co-leader Gove also started on the back nine and carded a five-under 67 after registering five birdies.

“I’m pleased with the position I’m in,” said Gove. “And most of my play today, I was staying in the moment, playing well, staying positive and trying to stay aggressive because the scores are low.”

A first-year PGA member who has finished no higher than sixth this season, de Jonge, finished with five birdies and an eagle against one bogey to register his second straight 66.

American Charles Warren also fired a 65 to climb into sole possession of fourth place at 11-under 133. The 32-year-old recorded seven birdies and an eagle against two bogeys.

Matt Hendrix, Chris Stroud and Charley Hoffman are locked in a three-way tie for fifth at 10-under 134 while Chad Campbell, who shared the first-round lead with Gove, slumped into a tie for 26th after carding a 72.

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