Ex-Thoroughbred in contention after 67

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Kevin Kisner made one of the easiest birdies of his life Saturday morning as he bolted into contention in the Hooters Tour's Kandy Waters Memorial Classic at Goshen Plantation Golf Club.

Former South Aiken and Georgia golfer Kevin Kisner trails by two in the weather-delayed Kandy Waters Memorial Classic.  Chris Thelen/Staff
Chris Thelen/Staff
Former South Aiken and Georgia golfer Kevin Kisner trails by two in the weather-delayed Kandy Waters Memorial Classic.

The Aiken golfer had hit his tee shot on the par-3 seventh hole - his 16th hole of the day - Friday when second-round play was suspended.

He was left with a 2-footer for birdie, which he was forced to mark, because the horn stopping play sounded before he could putt.

Kisner tapped it in Saturday, then parred his final two holes to complete his 5-under-par 67.

"It was the easiest 12-hour birdie I've ever made; that's for sure," Kisner said.

Added to his opening 69, Kisner was at 8-under 136 for 36 holes, or two shots behind clubhouse leader Ryan Blaum, one of Kisner's playing partners the first two rounds.

Blaum, of Coral Springs, Fla., has turned in rounds of 69-65 for 134 in the weather-delayed tournament.

In the second round, Kisner and Blaum were a combined 12 under and good for 12 birdies (six by Blaum) and an eagle (also by Blaum).

"It definitely helps to play with somebody who is shooting low," Kisner said. "We had a good time out there."

Because of lightning and rain delays Thursday and Friday, the third round didn't start Saturday until after 5 p.m. and no one finished, with the leaders only playing two holes before play was suspended.

The 71 players who made the cut, which fell at even-par 144, will return at 8:30 this morning to finish the third round and go right into the final round with repairing. That means the final group faces a 34-hole day today.

After finishing his second round about 9:15 Saturday morning, Kisner didn't start his third round until 6:30 later that evening.

He got in three holes, playing them 1 under. He' s now 9 under for the tournament with 33 holes to play today.

"I'm right in the hunt," said Kisner, who believes today's winning score will be between 18 and 20 under par. "It's a golf course where you can go low," he said. "I need to come out and make some birdies."

Kisner, a former Georgia golfer, turned pro at year ago. This season he has split time between the Canadian, Tarheel and Hooters tours, and earned more than $50,000.

"I played really good at the beginning of the year, then kind of slid in the middle of the summer and now I'm playing better," said Kisner, who will play in the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament in October.

"My game is coming around at the most important stage of the year," Kisner said, referring to the qualifying tournament.

First-round leader Scott Brown of Augusta made his share of birdies in the second round, but had too many bogeys.

After opening with an eight-birdie, two-bogey 66, Brown followed with 73. He had six birdies, but had to hesitate after his round when asked how his bogeys.

"I'm trying to count them," he said.

The final tally was five, to go with a double bogey.

"I missed a lot of 3- and 4-footers today," Brown said. "I just wasn't stroking the short ones today. I made some good putts other than that. I putted well.

"Today could have been one of those bad rounds. Luckily, I made some birdies. I'm still in there. I'm glad to be within range."

Reach David Westin at (706) 823-3224 or david.westin@augustachronicle.com.

LOCAL CONNECTION

Seven of the 14 players with area ties in the Kandy Waters Memorial Classic made the 36-hole cut, which fell at even-par 144.


No one has finished 54 holes.


Kevin Kisner 69-67-136

Scott Brown 66-73-139

Dane Burkhart 73-67-140

Emmett Turner 71-70-141

David Robinson 72-69-141

Scott Jamieson 68-76-144

John Engler 72-72-144

Failed to qualify


Scott Volpitto 75-70-145

Jay Mundy 75-70-145

Will Claxton 77-68-145

Major Manning 75-72-147

Scott Usher 73-75-148

Alex Hamilton 75-73-148

William Lanier 76-72-148


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