The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

June 15, 2013

Ihm, Lovelady share Sunnehanna lead as others draw closer

Shawn Curtis
scurtis@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — There’s company on the leaderboard after Friday’s play at the 60th Sunnehanna Amateur Tournament for Champions.

Tom Lovelady, who opened the second round at even-par, worked his way into a tie with Steven Ihm, leaving both at 3-under heading into the weekend.

Lovelady birdied seven holes to catch Ihm, who started the day at 4-under.

“You can’t really complain with

3-under,” Lovelady said of the round. “I left some strokes out there with some poor tee shots and missed putts. You can’t complain with 3-under around here. That’s pretty good.”

Stewart Jolly sits at third after a

23-hole day that saw him wrap up his first round with a 68. Jolly followed with a 70 on his second round to put him at 2-under.

Not a bad round as the course started to fight a little harder.

“It started to firm up a lot and the greens are getting quicker,” Jolly said. “They played a little easier (Friday) because of less wind, but when it starts firming up, it’ll play pretty tough.”

After a low round of 66 on Thursday gave Ihm a three-stroke lead, he gave a stroke back with a second-round 71. A shaky run of play - starting with a double-bogey on No. 6 - nixed early momentum after he birdied Nos. 3, 4 and 5 to drop to 6-under for the tournament.

Birdies on 11 and 12 were washed away by three straight bogeys starting at No. 14.

“I had a couple of mindless shots where I got little too comfortable on the front nine,” Ihm said. “I didn’t double-check my alignment and little things like that lead to bad swings. All in all, it was a 1-over par, so I brought it in alright, but I’m a little disappointed.”

Those three will comprise today’s final grouping when play begins at 8 a.m. Jolly, Lovelady and Ihm will tee off at 12:40 p.m.

“I’m really excited,” Jolly said. “I just put it on solid spots on the greens and make some putts.”

Penn State golfer Mike Miller, Matthew NeSmith, Patrick Newcomb, Cory Whitsett and Cameron Wilson are all at 1-under entering today’s play.

Richland High graduate Brady Moran rallied to shave six strokes off his first-round showing with a 73.

“My putting, I was focusing on a spot instead of just hitting a putt,” Moran said of adjustments he made between rounds. “I was paying attention more to my speed. Just trying to hit better putts.”

Ebensburg’s Joe Cavalier, the Sunnehanna club champion, posted an 81, taking him to 21-over for two rounds.

“I was 2-over on the front, so that was better,” Cavalier said. “I had a couple double-bogeys on the back. I just missed in the wrong spots. The rough and the difficulty of the course made it tough to get up and down.”

Defending tournament champion Bobby Wyatt stayed at 9-over, shooting a 70 in Round 2.