For the second weekend in a row, Brad Fritsch has a very real chance to lock up a 2013 PGA Tour card.
The Manotick, Ont., golfer is just one stroke off the lead at the halfway point of the Web.com Tour’s Neediest Kids Championship after an outstanding back nine Friday in Potomac, Md.
Fritsch made five birdies after the turn, pushing him to four-under 66 for the day and seven-under for 36 holes. That’s good for a tie for second with Monday qualifier Josh Persons, and one shot back of leader David Lingmerth of Sweden.
Fritsch, 34, was tied for the lead last week at the Chiquita Classic before settling for fourth, pushing him to 21st on the Web.com money list. The top 25 at season’s end earn PGA Tour cards.
A big finish this week — a win certainly would do the trick — might make the top 25 all but a guarantee with only three events left on the schedule following this one.
Fritsch had a much better day with his putter Friday. He needed only 28 putts in the second round after using the flatstick 34 times Thursday.
“I thought as long as you hit the fairway with the driver, I knew we’d have some good opportunities,” Fritsch told PGATour.com after the round. “The greens have so many knobs and hills on them. On the front nine, I felt like I was putting through a spine every time. There were some weird lines on the greens.
“Several times I was just uncomfortable because I wasn’t sure what it was going to do. The ball was going uphill, it was going downhill, there were double-breakers. Fortunately on the back nine, I started hitting the ball close enough that the knobs and such weren’t in play.
Jonas Blixt fired a seven-under 64 on Friday to move into a share of the lead with Brendon de Jonge after the second round of the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas.
Blixt finished two rounds at 14-under 128 and was joined there by de Jonge, who carded a 5-under 66 in round two. Both Blixt and de Jonge are searching for their first PGA Tour title.
First-round leader Ryan Moore managed a three-under 68 to finish 36 holes in third at minus-13.
David Hearn of Brantford shot a 70 to have a two-day total of four-under 138, just good enough to make the cut.
DUNHILL LINKS CHAMPIONSHIP
South African Branden Grace soared to a five-shot lead after two rounds of the Dunhill Links Championship, shooting a five-under 67 at St. Andrews, Scotland.
The 24-year-old is trying to record back-to-back wins for the second time this year.
Grace stood at 17-under 127. Swede Joel Sjoholm (67) and Dane Thorbjorn Olesen (69) shared second place at 132.
Paul Casey had his ball stolen by a dog while lining up an eagle putt. The Englishman could only watch as the animal ran away with his ball and headed for the rough. A spectator eventually caught the ball thief on the 13th hole. Casey carded a birdie after a delay.