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Bart Bryant shoots 10 under, leads at Dick’s

August 17, 2013

ENDICOTT, New York (AP) — Kenny Perry finally met his match — for one day, at least.

Champions Tour rookie Bart Bryant shot a 10-under 62 on Saturday to take the second-round lead at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open. Bryant took advantage of another serene day at En-Joie Golf Club, making six birdies in his first seven holes to surge past first-round leader Kenny Perry.

Bryant was at 16-under 128, a 36-hole record for the tournament, four shots ahead of Corey Pavin (64).

Duffy Waldorf was 11 under after a 65, and Rick Fehr (67) and Russ Cochran (67) were 10 under. Perry was eight strokes back at 8 under after a 71.

Bryant’s round matched the Champions Tour course record set by R.W. Eaks in 2007, the tournament’s first year. Hal Sutton, Robert Gamez and Fred Funk each shot 61 when En-Joie hosted the old B.C. Open on the PGA Tour.

More than half the field broke par under nearly ideal scoring conditions on the first day, and the assault at the narrow, tree-lined layout continued Saturday as 47 players finished the day under par.

Perry, the hottest player on the Champions Tour after victories this summer in the Senior Players and U.S. Senior Open, began the day with a one-shot lead after opening with a 7-under 65. Playing in the final threesome with Bryant and Joel Edwards, Perry watched his slim margin slip away quickly.

The formula for going low at the narrow, tree-lined course is to keep the ball in the fairway, and nobody was more consistent than Bryant over the first two rounds. He hit 10 of 14 fairways and reached 16 of 18 greens in regulation each day.

Bryant birdied six of the first seven holes on Saturday to get to 12 under and should have had all seven. He rolled in a perfectly paced 20-foot putt that broke right to left at the par-4 second hole, hit his tee shot to 8 feet at No. 4, then made a superlative save at the par-5 fifth hole, blasting out of a greenside bunker to 3 feet from the flag.

He followed that with consecutive 30-foot birdie putts on the next two holes, his only early miscue coming at No. 3, one of three par-5s on the front nine. He stuck his third shot within 5 feet, then watched in dismay as his birdie try barely skimmed the lip and stayed out.

Fehr had five straight birdies on the front side, the best surge of the day, before faltering with a bogey at No. 9 and was two shots behind at the turn.

Perry, who had an eagle and six birdies the first day, managed just two birdies on the front nine and was three shots behind with nine holes to play.

Bryant continued his assault with an 18-foot birdie putt at No. 11 and another birdie at No. 12 to reach 14 under, just missing an eagle try on the latter. Perry also had a chance for eagle at the par-5 and scowled in dismay when his putt barely missed and he had to settle for a birdie.

Pavin gained sole possession of second at 11 under after making a 6-foot birdie putt at the difficult 15th hole, a 432-yard par-4 that’s guarded by a massive water hazard. It was one of only nine birdies there on the day.

Pavin hit 11 of 14 fairways and reached 16 of 18 greens in regulation on the day and needed only 26 putts as he repeatedly hit it close. He had three putts inside 6 feet, made a 25-footer from the fringe at No. 12, and sank a 15-footer at No. 16 for his final birdie.

Bryant matched that moments later with a birdie at No. 14 after hitting a 4-iron to 5 feet at the 212-yard par-3 and closed his round with a 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole.

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