PONTE VEDRA, Fla. — The three-stroke lead Bobby Wyatt carried into the second round of the Junior Players Championship was slowly chipped away Saturday by Patrick Rodgers, who shot a 4-under-par 68 on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. The two were tied at the top of the leaderboard to end the day.
Rodgers, playing in the group ahead of Wyatt, made the turn at 4-under-par, then swapped birdies on Nos. 11 and 13 with bogeys on Nos. 14 and 16. After his tee shot on No. 18 landed in a divot, Rodgers’ second shot landed in the mounds just short right of the green. With his chip shot landing 12 feet from the hole, he made the putt to save par and walked to the scoring area one back from Wyatt.
“Right before I hit that putt I looked up and saw that Bobby was at 6 (under) and that gave me a little incentive to make that putt,” Rodgers said. “It gave me some good momentum going into tomorrow.”
While Rodgers made par on No. 18 after landing in the mounds short right of the green, Wyatt’s second shot landed in the same area. His chip shot fell a foot shy of the green, and the two-putt that followed left him with a bogey on the hole.
Wyatt carded three birdies to four bogeys during the second round Saturday, ending the round at 1-over-par 73. He credited the difference in first- and second-round play to his putting, saying he had around 35 putts on the day.
“Today was a struggle, I didn’t hit it too great. I made a few putts but not nearly enough,” Wyatt said. “It’s always comforting to know what I’m doing wrong, so I’m going to go to the putting green and work it out.”
With the final round set to tee off Sunday morning, Wyatt is optimistic about his game.
“I hope there’s a lot of good play tomorrow, some birdies, and it’ll be fun,” he said.
Behind Rodgers and Wyatt in a tie for third are Oliver Schniederjans of Powder Springs, Ga., and Franco Castro of Alpharetta, Ga., each with a two-day total of 3-under-par 141. Alone in fifth is Yaroslav Merkulov of Penfield, N.Y., with a 2-under-par 142.