MADISON, Miss. — Paul Stankowski hasn’t played in many PGA Tour events lately, so he has spent a lot of time watching on television.
There’s one trend he always notices.
“Everybody that plays well makes putts,” Stankowski said, grinning. “I really haven’t made any putts for 10 years. It’s kind of nice to make putts — join the party.”
Stankowski’s good putting is a big reason he was among six players tied atop a crowded leaderboard midway through the second round of the Sanderson Farms Championship.
He had a 4-under 68 to join Vaughn Taylor, Fabian Gomez, Troy Matteson and Kyle Reifers at 10 under in the clubhouse. First-round leader Daniel Summerhays also was 10 under, but only completed eight holes in the round Friday.
The 43-year-old Stankowski is the most unlikely name among the leaders. The veteran is playing in his first PGA Tour event of the season and hasn’t won since 1997.
He has played some on the Web.com Tour this season, but hasn’t been particularly competitive. His last round before coming to Annandale was an 82.
Stankowski needed only 25 putts to get through the first round, which he finished early Friday. He wasn’t as good in the second round, with 30 putts, but he made the crucial ones that helped him stay among the leaders.
“I’ve enjoyed it. It’s all a process,” Stankowski said. “I’m 43. I’m still learning and it’s fun. I hope I can continue to roll it well and hit some quality shots and see what happens.”
The leader had plenty of company behind them, with eight players within two strokes.
The 35-year-old Gomez shot a 64 in his second round, playing 29 total holes in the stifling Mississippi heat Friday after his first round was delayed Thursday. The Argentine played especially well down the stretch, making birdie on 17 and then holing a 50-foot eagle putt on 18.
Taylor and Matteson both shot 67 in the second round, and Reifers had a 69.
Play was delayed for the second straight day at Annandale Golf Club because of lightning close to the course. The afternoon session was unable to finish after a delay that lasted more than two hours.
The wet conditions and lack of wind have led to friendly course conditions for low scores. The only major obstacle is the heat — temperatures climbed into the low 90s during the afternoon and there was oppressive humidity.
“The greens are receptive,” Taylor said. “They are in really good shape. If you get the putter going you can shoot some good scores.”
Summerhays continues to play well after a good showing at the John Deere Classic last week, where he tied for fourth after leading going into the final round. The 29-year-old birdied Nos. 5 and 7 before darkness enveloped Annandale.
Cameron Beckman joined Gomez as the only other player to shoot a 64, and it moved him to 8 under for the tournament. The 43-year-old Beckman is a former champion at Annandale, winning the tournament in 2001 when it was named the Southern Farm Bureau Classic.
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