Luke List probably wouldn’t label his recent play as a mini-slump. But after firing a 7-under-par 64 on Friday in the second round of the Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open, the Nationwide Tour’s No. 2 money leader was a little relieved.
“I’ve actually missed the last two cuts, so it’s nice to be around for the weekend here,” said List, who posted his season-low round on Crestview Country Club’s North course. “I really like this course a lot. I was kind of frustrated (Thursday) not to play as well as I’d like to.”
List, who has made the cut in all four Wichita Open appearances, held the top spot in season earnings after backing up his first career victory at the South Georgia Classic with a tie for second at the Stadion Classic in early May. He surrendered that to tour rookie Paul Haley when Haley finished second June 10 at the Mexico Open, an event List didn’t play.
The former Vanderbilt golfer started the tournament with 13 consecutive pars en route to an even-par 71 on Thursday.
“You know you’re getting lapped, but you just kind of focus on yourself,” List said. “I was able to do that a little bit better today and not really look at the leaderboard. I just got focused on making some birdies.”
List, who started on the 10th hole, reeled off eight birdies Friday, including two to complete his round.
“I kind of pulled it together a little bit at the end,” List said. “I fought my swing a little bit, but it was nice to score well today.”
Who’s that girl? – If fans thought they might have seen a World Golf Hall of Fame member in Thursday’s gallery, they were probably right.
Juli Inkster, a seven-time LPGA major championship winner – including the 2002 U.S. Women’s Open at Hutchinson’s Prairie Dunes – is in Wichita spending time with friends and following Nationwide golfer Jeff Brehaut. She followed Brehaut during the first round, but spent Friday practicing for her return from elbow surgery at next week’s LPGA event in Arkansas.
Both golfers live in Los Altos, Calif., and play at Los Altos Country Club, where Inkster’s husband, Brian, is a club professional. Inkster was in Rhode Island earlier this week, playing in the CVS Charity Classic.
“She and I have been friends since I was 17,” said Brehaut, whose 5-under 137 total earned him a spot for the weekend. “She’s like my big sis. We play and practice together all the time at home.
“The member-guest is this week at Los Altos Country Club. So instead of going all the way home and having nowhere to really practice, she decided to come here and work for a few days.”
Without Woody – Derby resident Woody Austin shot a 2-under 69 in the second round. It was better than Thursday’s 74, but with a 36-hole total of 143, not good enough to advance to the weekend.
“I went from a 15 handicap to a 5 today,” Austin told his younger son, Peyton, after the round. “You can’t play out here as a 5 handicap.”
Austin, No. 24 on the Nationwide money list, will move on to the United Leasing Championship in Evansville, Ind., next week. After tying for 35th in last year’s Wichita Open, Austin will spend this weekend at home.
“I played horrible yesterday. I putted horrible yesterday,” Austin said. “Today, I played a little better, but I knew I had to shoot 64 just to make the cut. When I bogeyed (No.) 1 (his 10th hole), that pretty much put an end to that.”
Epilepsy Awareness Day – Spectators at Friday’s second round received lavender ribbons with a handout featuring facts about epilepsy. The Epilepsy Awareness Day honored Jeff Klauk, the 2003 Wichita Open champion and PGA Tour member who suffers from the neurological disorder.
Vicky Hiebsch, who hosted Klauk and his family during his eight tournament appearances, organized the event. Klauk’s banner on the row of champions along the 18th fairway was decorated in lavender, as well.
Klauk, who will undergo brain surgery on Aug. 1 to try to eliminate or minimize the effects of the condition, tweeted “what an honor to have this day” from his Florida home.
Etc. – Matt Davidson, who tied for 20th in last year’s Wichita Open, is at 7-under 137 in his first tournament since undergoing surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee Dec. 23. Davidson injured the knee playing basketball shortly after the PGA Tour qualifying tournament.… Last year, 65 players made the cut at 2-under par.… Crestview’s par-71 layout yielded a 69.827 stroke average through the first two rounds. There have been 37 eagles and 1,192 birdies.