Earnhardt, Tallent take lead

Birdie binges carry both to two-round totals of 137 in Mid-Atlantic Amateur

Golf

October 05, 2002|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

BETHESDA - Greg Earnhardt and Pat Tallent scorched different halves of the Bethesda Country Club course in yesterday afternoon's second round of the Middle Atlantic Amateur Golf Championships. Both had a similar result.

Earnhardt birdied six of his first 11 holes to card a front-nine 30, while Tallent birdied five of the first six on the back nine to score a 30. Earnhardt, 33, shot a 4-under 66, and Tallent, 49, carded a 3-under 67, and the two are tied for the lead with two-day scores of 3-under 137 on the par-70, 6,674-yard course. The field of 120 for the four-day tournament was cut to 60 and ties yesterday, with the cut falling at 12-over 152.

Earnhardt, of Greensboro, N.C., played golf at Campbell University in 1990 and 1991 and played on the Hooters Tour for nine months in 1996. He works as a fundraiser for elementary and middle schools in North Carolina and is not related to the auto-racing Earnhardts.

Yesterday he birdied the first, fourth, sixth, eighth, ninth and 11th holes to move to 5-under for the tournament before a double bogey on the par-3 17th dropped him into a tie for the lead.

"I shot 66, and I'm obviously happy to be in the position I'm in, but I'm angry because it could've been better," Earnhardt said. "I think my mindframe because of that will be a little different tomorrow, whereas if I would have just got it right, played as good as I could play, maybe I would've felt a little more pressure."

Tallent's day went in the opposite fashion. The freelance business consultant from Vienna, Va., who won the tournament in 1997, bogeyed the second and fifth holes to fall to 2-over for the tournament. Tallent then birdied 10, 11, 12, 13 and 15 to climb into a first-place tie with Earnhardt.

"I had a lot of negative thoughts on the front side," Tallent said. "I hit a bunch of bad shots. Then my old college roommate Scott Yohe, who is a member here, showed up, and I birdied the 10th hole. And then I birdied 11, 12 and 13. The other guys in the group were saying I should start rubbing his head from good luck."

Lurking one shot off the pace is Andrew Medley from Jackson, Miss. Medley, 22, shot a 3-under 67 to finish with an overall score of 2-under 138. Medley played three seasons of golf at the University of Mississippi and will be enrolling this spring at the University of Arizona, where he is transferring to complete college.

"I felt like I played better yesterday than today, but I just didn't make any putts," Medley said. "I'm really striking the ball well."

All three of Thursday's leaders faltered yesterday. Chuck Freedman shot a 2-over 72 and is even par, Dan Falls carded a 6-over 76 to fall to 4-over and Cordes Forbes IV had an 8-over 78 to fall to 6-over for the tournament.

(Scores, 2c)

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