By Mike Meiler email@example.com
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — LEWISTON — Tyler Dunlap enjoys playing golf in New York.
His grandparents live in Hamilton, a village east of Syracuse, and the Trophy Club, Texas native said he relishes having a chance to play in front of them.
It’s showed, and Thursday, he shot his second straight 65 to take the lead during the second round of the 55th Porter Cup at Niagara Falls Country Club.
Dunlap birdied each of the course’s three par-5s and dropped only one bogey during his second round, jumping one shot ahead of first-day leader Justin Shin, who shot a 67.
He said his simple approach has been successful.
“You’ve got four holes (Nos. 11, 13-15) that you can get in under regulation, so if you just take care of business there, the rest of the course you’ll make two-three birdies and you don’t have to force anything,” Dunlap said. “You can birdie six holes in a row out here, so you just say super patient and take care of business on the ones you can reach under regulation.”
Dunlap is 8-under on those four holes, birdying each one twice. On the flip side, he’s bogeyed the par-4 fifth twice, and he recognizes there’s room for improvement.
Shin, on the other hand, couldn’t duplicate the course record-tying 29 he shot on the back nine during Wednesday’s first round. After shooting a 1-over 36 on the front, he went for 31 on the back, including an eagle on 11 set up by a beautiful second shot that settled about 5-feet from the hole.
He also just missed birdie puts on 13, 14 and 18.
“This week, I don’t care about scores too much,” said the Hamilton, Ont. native. “I just want to play aggressive. I’m hitting good and I have a lot of confidence in my swing.
“I just want to play golf, hole by hole, shot by shot. I want to hit a good shot, good puts, and if it doesn’t fall how I want, just move on.”
Joining the two in tomorrow’s final pairing will be Beau Hossler, an 18-year-old Californian. He shot a 66 in round two, buoyed by a 31 on the back nine, and sits at 133 for the tournament.
Also in the race are Canada’s Taylor Pendrith and Australia’s Brady Watt, who sit at 135 and 136, respectively. They’ll be joined by Florida’s Peter Williamson (137) in a trio that will tee off 10 minutes before the leaders at 12:20 p.m. today
With two days left, there’s plenty of time for movement atop the leaderboard.
“It’s a 72-hold tournament and we’re halfway there,” Dunlap said. “There’s going to be somebody who shoots 12-under on the weekend and there (are) people ... who aren’t going to play as well.
“I’m just going to worry about playing the same way I’ve been playing these last few days, shot after shot, and just keep doing it.”Follow Gazette sports reporter Mike Meiler on Twitter @mikemeiler for updates on your local teams.