"Well, isn't this just exciting?" said Michael Johnson's mother, Shari, as her son approached the 10th tee at Grand National golf course at 8:48 a.m. Friday morning. Johnson, who was four under heading into the second round, provided plenty of excitement for around 25 family members, friends and teammates in attendance as he shot 65, and finished five under on Friday in his first PGA event
Johnson began his second round on the back nine of Grand National and had a quiet start until he birdied both the 13th and 14th holes. The redshirt senior then had another set of birdies on the 16th and 17th holes before crossing the bridge to the front nine. After making par on the first hole, Johnson ran into trouble on the second hole and made only his second bogey of the tournament. Johnson remained focused and made a pivotal chip in birdie on the fifth hole that caused the gallery to roar. Johnson would continue on, and birdied both the sixth and ninth holes to finish six under on the day, and 10 under total.
“I definitely wanted to make the cut,” Johnson said. “I wasn’t really thinking about being in the mix. After I finished yesterday, I saw I was in the top 10, so it was a little goal today to stay in the top 10, and it’s looking like I’ll be in the top 10 at the end of the day. I finished well, which is great. You always want to finish well out there. It’s great momentum going into the weekend.”
Johnson shot a 65 on Friday and will enter the weekend in third place, seven strokes behind leader Jhonattan Vegas.
“It’s nice. I didn’t really need to work that much in the practice rounds,” Johnson said. “I knew where the pins were going to be and the tee boxes and stuff like that, and where the misses are. It was nice to just go out and play and not have to worry about other things.”
Senior Tiger Matt Gilchrest and former Auburn All-American Blayne Barber were also in action on Friday. Barber entered his second round at five under and was expected to be a top Tiger on Friday after he shot a 65 on Thursday. After making par on his first three holes, Barber ran into trouble and bogeyed both the fourth and seventh holes, but quickly turned things around and birdied five holes on the back nine. Barber finished two under on the day, and seven under total.
Gilchrest had a trying round, and finished the day with 4 bogeys, which led to a 1 under par total. The Tiger senior was cut from the competition.
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The third round at Grand National will begin on Saturday at 9:35 a.m. CST. Barber will tee off at 11:05 a.m. CST from the first tee, and Johnson will tee off soon after as a part of the leading group from the first tee at 11:45 a.m. CST.
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