Web.com qualifer: John Ellis leads after 2nd round of qualifying at Dayton | NevadaAppeal.com
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Web.com qualifer: John Ellis leads after 2nd round of qualifying at Dayton

Larry Windsor
For the Appeal

DAYTON — John Ellis of San Jose, Calif., fired a 6-under par 66 to take sole possession of the 36-hole lead at 13-under par 131 in the Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament at Dayton Valley Golf Club. Canadians Darren Wallace and Cory Renfrew, who played in the same threesome, are two shots back at 11-under 133 after carding 66 and 67 respectively.

Sean Einhaus of Germany and Erick Justesen of San Jose, Calif., are tied for fourth at 10-under 134. First round co-leader Dusty Fielding shot 1-under 71 and is sixth at 8-under 136.

Postponement of the second round created an unusual final 54 holes for the field. After signing second round scorecards, the entire field went back out to play nine holes of the third round. They will come back this morning for nine holes to complete the third round before beginning an 18-hole final round play to conclude a second 27-hole day.

Former Nevada Wolf Pack star Scott Smith of Fallon carded a 2-under 70 and is tied for 21st place with a 2-under par 142 total that puts him inside the low 30 scores and ties to qualify. Smith had five birdies and an eagle but five bogeys on his round.

“I played well but let a good round get away,” Smith said. “I got sloppy coming in and made three straight bogies on 13, 14 and 15, and that bad stretch kept me from a mid-60s round. I am going to take advantage of the good conditions and go shoot a low nine-hole score and sleep on that.”

Trent Virden of Reno shot a 5-over 77 and at 6-over par 150 will have to have a low final 36 holes to qualify.

Ellis, a 35-year old veteran pro who won the PGA Canada Tour Order of Merit in 2008, is playing in a tour qualifier at Dayton for the first time. “It was calm as could be out there today and excellent scoring conditions,” Ellis said referencing the gusty Wednesday winds that caused postponement. “I was lucky to be in the first group before the wind came up on Tuesday but I’ve also putted very well both days.”

“I played very solid and I’m happy with today’s round and glad we didn’t have to go out there yesterday because it would have been very difficult on these greens,” said Einhaus who has already earned full playing status for 2015 on the European Challenge Tour, the European Tour equivalent of the Web.com Tour. The former Oklahoma State golfer is also playing in European Tour qualifying in addition to this Web.com qualifier where he’s likely to advance.

Nick Delio of Valencia, Calif., carded 10 birdies and just one bogey to shoot the tournament low round of 9-under 63, just one shot higher than the course and tournament record. “I made it much easier on myself by playing a lot better than I did in the first round,” said Delio who moved all the way up to seventh place after an opening 2-over 74. “I have no excuses for the first round and I’m just glad that I made up for it by playing really well today.”

Notes:

• Postponement of the second round on Wednesday was only the second time in the 20-year history of tour qualifying at Dayton that an entire round had to move to the next day. The final round in 1996 was postponed one day due to high winds and cold temperatures. Rain caused a suspension of play during the second round in 2004 but the entire day was not postponed.

• The low 30 scores and ties after the final round will advance to Second Stage Web.com Tour Qualifying. If the tournament ended today, the cut line for qualifying would be at 1-under par, with 31 players theoretically advancing as the low 30 scores and ties set by the Tour. The projected final cut number is difficult to predict because of the split play of the third round, but with the forecast for calm weather the number is likely to be three or four under par.

• Calm weather conditions helped the field scoring average come down by 3.28 strokes to 70.99 from the first round 74.27.

For complete results and individual player scorecards visit the web link: http://pgatq.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/pgatq14/event/pgatq1420/contest/1/leaderboard.htm.