SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Wes Short Jr. had birdies on his last two holes for a 5-under 66 at the Champions Tour’s national qualifying tournament at TPC Scottsdale on Wednesday.
He leads Doug Garwood and Bill Glasson by one after 36 holes.
Short was at 12-under 130 on the Champions Course. His seven-birdie round on Wednesday included a two-putt birdie from 40 feet at the par-5 17th and a 12-foot birdie putt at No. 18 that moved him in front.
“I just didn’t drive it as well today as I did yesterday. Luckily I hit a few good shots coming in,” he said. “I’m in the mix now so I won’t need to have to shoot a 64 tomorrow to get back in it. It makes it much easier to try and play conservatively aggressive tomorrow if that makes sense.”
Short, a winner on the PGA Tour at the 2005 Michelin Championship at Las Vegas, played this past year on the PGA Tour through a major medical extension after lingering back issues had forced him to the sideline over the past three seasons.
Short came into this week with good vibes about playing in the desert.
“It takes a bit of getting used to and the ball travels different distances throughout the day depending on the temperatures. It’s a little harder to adjust to how you should hit your irons, but I’ve done pretty good with that so far this week,” he said.
Glasson was playing flawless golf for his first 35 holes of the event and it appeared as if he would be the 36-hole leader until troubles at the 18th hole.
The seven-time PGA Tour winner pulled a 5 iron second shot from a sidehill lie into the water left of the green and it led to a double-bogey that resulted in a 67 and dropped him back to 11 under for the first two rounds.
“I lost my focus coming in and hit a poor shot at the end. I couldn’t quite hold it together,” Glasson said.
Glasson finished 33rd on the money list giving him access to many tournaments in 2014, but he is using this event as a way to improve his access, especially early in the year.
“This is what we do. This is my last opportunity to play this year, possibly into who knows when. I don’t know if I’ll get into the first few tournaments. Even though we are not talking about a huge number of tournaments, it’s when I will get in that’s important to me. I really want to play early,” he said.
There was no cut in the 72-hole qualifier. At the end of 72 holes, the top five finishers earn fully exempt status through the re-order in the 2014 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 Champions Tour in 2014.
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