Springer shoots 9-under to lead halfway through the Fortinet Cup Championship
CALGARY, Alberta – Hayden Springer seemed like an extreme longshot to win the Fortinet Cup last month. Even after claiming his first victory two weeks ago in Winnipeg, the Texan still had plenty of work to do. But after tying the course record on Friday, Springer surged into first place and is on the cusp of being able to make next season’s plans on the Korn Ferry Tour.
Springer shot a 9-under 62 at Country Hills Golf Club, which included a 28 on the front nine, and took the lead at 14-under at the midpoint of PGA TOUR Canada’s Fortinet Cup Championship.
“I’m trying not to think too much about that and just focus on each day, each shot,” Springer said. “We all want to finish in that No. 1 spot. We all come out here to play and to win and hopefully finish No. 1. I’m not going to think a lot about it, just try to play the best I possibly can these next two days and then wherever I finish, I finish.”
Springer holds a one-shot lead over Derek Hitchner, who also tied the course record in the second round with a 9-under 62 and sits at 13-under. Alex Scott shot 65 and holds solo third place at 12-under. Tied for fourth place at 11-under are Chris Korte (63), Taylor Funk (63), George Markham (63), Eric Lilliboe (67), and first-round leader Corey Shaun, who followed his opening 63 with a 68.
Springer’s front-nine 28 matched the lowest nine-hole score on PGA TOUR Canada this season. He did it with some prowess with the flat stick.
“I made some bombs,” Springer said. “I made a 40-footer on No. 2, even longer than that, like a 50-footer on No. 7. I was feeling good. You don’t expect to make any of those putts, so for them to go in, it’s kind of like bonuses. I was feeling pretty solid on the front.”
Hitchner was feeling it, too. He had an eagle and seven birdies for his 62, two shots lower than his previous best score of the season.
“It feels like one of those courses where you can accumulate a ton of 8-15 footers and thankfully I got a lot of those to go in today. The course was more scoreable today.” Hitchner said. “It was a pretty simple objective in that I had to win to just challenge the top five. I also have a few other things that need to go my way, so I feel like that allowed me to just free things up a little bit and play as loosely and freely as I could.”
Scott shot his second-straight 65, this one began with a 29 on the front side – thanks to a pair of eagles, including one on the par-4 ninth hole.
“I hit it to like a foot on No. 2 for eagle and I holed out for eagle on No. 9,” Scott said. “I wish I had seen it go in because everybody freaked out, but everything seemed kind of automatic. I got away with a couple bad ones that I turned into good. I just played really solid.”
Scott is currently projected to finish 19th on the Fortinet Cup list, which would get him into the second stage of PGA TOUR Q-School presented by Korn Ferry.
With no cut, players are re-paired tomorrow and will once again tee off at 8:30 a.m.