Taylor-made leader in RTO
RENO – For the second straight day, a rookie has vaulted to the top spot in the sixth annual Reno-Tahoe Open at Montreux Golf & Country Club.
Vaughn Taylor, a graduate of the Nationwide Tour, weathered a three-plus hour delay to fire his second straight 67 en route to a 36-hole total of 134. It was his second straight round without a bogey.
The delay, caused by lightning, left 65 players on the course when play was halted at 7:45 p.m. Those golfers will finish their second rounds at 7 a.m. this morning, and after pairings are determined, the third round will commence. Barring any further delays, tour officials are confident they can get back on schedule.
Taylor, who is at 10-under, holds a two-shot lead over Scott McCarron, Joe Ogilvie, who shot a record-tying 30 on the back nine, and Hunter Mahan. Michael Allen, Daniel Chopra, and Olin Browne are another shot back at 137. Veteran Scott Simpson, Garrett Willis and Ken Duke are tied at 138.
“I’m pleased with the way I played,” Taylor said. “I played solid. I did not hit it too good coming in, but my putter held up. I made an eagle and a couple of good par putts.
“I’m going to stick to my game plan. Nothing special, just hit fairways and greens, and make a few putts.”
A swing alteration has helped Taylor hit the ball consistently off the tee this week.
“I tried something different Monday,” Taylor said. “I hit the ball well until the last rain delay. I’m trying to relax my left arm a little bit. Sometimes it gets too straight at address.”
Taylor sank birdie putts of 10 and 15 feet on No. 3 and No. 8. He sank a 32-footer on the 491-yard par-4, and followed that with a 22-footer on No.15. On the par-4 18th, Taylor blasted a 3-wood off the tee, followed with a sand wedge to within 15 feet and sank the ensuing putt. He also had a clutch 13-foot putt to save par on No. 13.
“The tee shot on No. 18 I really put a good swing on it,” Taylor said.
Taylor didn’t seem fazed by the long delay.
“I’m used to it,” he said. “I played on the Hooters Tour, and we seemed to get rained on every week. I just try to rest and take my mind off golf. I’ll sit in the car and listen to music or eat. I ate lunch and watched TV. I sat in the car with my caddie and talked until it was time to go.”
McCarron was a tad frustrated by the delays the past two days, but it doesn’t seem to have affected his play.
“It’s very difficult to keep your concentration for that long,” said McCarron, who has rounds of 69 and 67. “I think I warmed up three times yesterday. You really have to be patient. I had a solid last two days. I made a few little mistakes. It was a good start for me.”
McCarron, who started on No. 10, parred his first two holes. His first of three birdies on the back nine came at No. 12, a 186-yard par-3 when he hit an 8-iron to 10 feet and sank the putt. He hit a 9-iron to 7 feet at the par-4 15th and drained the putt. On the 183-yard par-3 16th, he hit a 3-iron to 24 feet and canned the putt.
A 17-foot putt on No. 3, a two-putt from 42 feet on the par-5 fourth hole and tap-in on No.9, a par-5, completed his six-birdie round. The only blemish on his round was a three-putt bogey on the 464-yard par-4 eighth hole.
Ogilvie, who had the day’s low round with an 8-under 64, said birdies at No. 8 and No. 9 got him headed in the right direction. What was funny is that he couldn’t remember whether the two birdies were Thursday night before the delay or this morning. It was finally determined that they came on the final two holes of his first round which he finished this morning.
“That got me plugged in,” he said. “I started playing better; hitting the ball more solid. I started making putts, and once I got a few, that got my confidence going. My goal today was to get to 4 or 5 under. Guys weren’t shooting that low (this morning).”
The highlight of his second round came when he eagled the 477-yard par-4 15th from 186 yards out with a 7-iron.
“I was in a divot; I had a bad lie,” Ogilvie said. “I tried to take it straight up and aim right.”
Ogilvie saw it hit near the flag, but never saw the ball go in. As he approached the green, a volunteer congratulated him on his shot. When Ogilvie asked where the ball was, he was told it was in the hole. It was the third eagle of the tournament.
Contact Darrell Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1281.