Neither Tim Dinwiddie nor Danny Green was completely thrilled with his golf on Thursday, but the two stayed atop the leaderboard at the Tennessee State Senior Amateur.
Dinwiddie and Green each shot even-par 72 Thursday at Blackthorn Club to remain at five under par through 36 holes. They’ll begin today’s final round four strokes clear of the field, thanks to their opening-rounds 67s.
“I didn’t hit the ball as well as I did on Wednesday, but I got away with it today,” Dinwiddie said. “I was grinding it out, trying to hit the middle of the green and make pars. My confidence wasn’t there to go for the flags.”
Dinwiddie, an Afton resident, didn’t make a bogey for his first 26 holes in the tournament, but then they started coming. He missed the green at the tough par-four ninth hole, leading to his first blemish. Then a drive into a hazard at No. 10 and a three-putt at No. 12 led to two more bogeys.
When Dinwiddie’s wedge slid under the ball on his approach at the 13th hole, it left him the toughest pitch he faced all day. From well below the green, he flipped a shot over a bunker to within tap-in range for a par.
“That was definitely a momentum thing,” he said. “If I make bogey there, I have a completely different mindset going to 14. The momentum swing was positive.”
Dinwiddie, the senior winner in the Tillinghast Invitational at Johnson City Country Club, wound up making pars on the final five holes.
Green, who had fallen three strokes behind before Dinwiddie’s bogey run, was asked which part of his game let him down in the second round.
“Everything,” he said. “You name it and it was worse. I wasn’t very good. The speed on my putts was terrible. I’d hit some too hard and some not hard enough. And I missed a lot of greens.”
Green closed his round by getting up and down for par at three of the final four holes.
“I could have made more bogeys,” he said.
But being still tied for the lead is a pretty good place for Green, a Jackson native who has won at every level of amateur golf.
“I’ll probably play better tomorrow,” he said. “Usually, I’m every other day. I played really good yesterday and I scraped it around today. I should be better tomorrow.”
Buzz Fly of Memphis shot 69 and moved into third place at one under par. Kingsport’s Bill Argabrite shot 70 and was at even par.
Defending champion Ron Waters posted a 69. He shot 78 in the first round and was eight strokes back after 36 holes.
The cut came at 155, 11 over par. Among the victims was Tennessee Wesleyan College coach Mike Poe, who had rounds of 78 and 79. Poe had won several events in the area this summer.
In the super senior division, Ronnie Law posted a 71 to get to three under par. He’ll begin today with a five-shot lead over Mike Nixon, who has shot 73 each day.