Dakota Dunes Casino Open
July 5-8, 2012
Dakota Dunes Casino Open (36-36) Par 72
Winner's share: $24,000
Weather: 26 degrees celsius, wind 5 km/h
Second Round Leaderboard (bold denotes Canadian)
Jose de Jesus Rodriguez, Mexico - 67-67 = 134 (-10)
Matt Hill, Sarnia, ON - 67-68 = 135 (-9)
Brandon Harkins, Scottsdale, AZ - 69-66 = 135 (-9)
James Allenby, Langley, BC - 69-67 = 136 (-8)
Nick Taylor, Abbotsford, BC - 70-66 = 136 (-8)
Michael Gligic, Burlington, ON - 65-71 = 136 (-8)
Wes Homan, Cincinnati, OH - 71-65 = 136 (-8)
Brad Tilley, Jupiter, FL - 70-66 = 136 (-8)
Lucas Lee, Brazil - 69-67 = 136 (-8)
Tyler Harris - Longwood, FL - 69-67 = 136 (-8)
(July 6, 2012 - Saskatoon, SK) - 2011 Canadian Tour Order or Merit winner Jose de Jesus Rodriguez carded six birdies and one bogey for his second straight five-under 67. Rodriguez took advantage of the calm conditions at Dakota Dunes Golf Links posting birdies on two of his last three holes. The Mexico native holds a one shot lead over Sarnia, Ontario's Matt Hill and Scottsdale, Arizona's Brandon Harkins.
"I'm playing very well. My putter, my chipping, everything has been good," said Rodriguez, who won the Mexican PGA Championship and the Times Colonist Island Savings last season.
The 2011 Order of Merit winner has had a sluggish start to the season with a T-35 in Edmonton and a missed cut in Fort McMurray. Today, however, Rodriguez showed much of the form that led him to over $80,000 in earnings in 2011.
"I need a bit more practice, but I'm feeling good about trying to win again," said Rodriguez, who won in Mexico and Victoria last year on the Canadian Tour.
Harkins posted the best round of the afternoon with a six-under 66 that included seven birdies and an eagle to reach nine-under. The red-hot Hill, meanwhile continued a streak of nice play with a four-under 68.
Hill has been on fire of late, finishing second in a playoff last week in Fort McMurray and tied for eighth two weeks ago in Edmonton. His back-to back-top 10 showings have earned the 23-year old full status on the Canadian Tour.
"I got off to a good start and made some good pars to hang in there," said Hill, who shot his fifth straight round of 68 or better going back to last week's Syncrude Boreal Open presented by AECON.
While he came up short in Edmonton, the 2009 Jack Nicklaus Award winner said he's looking forward to another chance at victory this weekend.
"If I continue to play smart golf and makes some putts, maybe I'll have a chance," said Hill.
First-round leader Michael Gligic of Burlington, ON shot a one-under 71 to sit in a seven-way tie for fourth along with Abbotsford, BC's Nick Taylor, Brazil's Lucas Lee, Cincinnati, OH's Wes Homan, Langley, BC's James Allenby, Jupiter, FL's Brad Tilley and Longwood, FL's Tyler Harris.
Homan shared the round of the day at seven-under 65 along with Merritt, BC's Roger Sloan and Peoria, AZ's Kyle Kallan, who sit tied for 11th and 16th, respectively.
Defending champion Joe Panzeri of Meridian, ID shot a 67 to sit at five-under overall, alongside a group of big names that includes Oshawa, ON's Derek Gillespie, 2012 Times Colonist Island Savings Open winner Andrew Roque of Monterey Park, CA and Web.com member Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, BC.
Order of Merit leader and Victoria, BC native Cory Renfrew shot a one-under 71 to miss the cut.
The third round of the Dakota Dunes Casino Open will begin Saturday at 8:03 AM CST with the players going off in twosomes. The final pairing will tee off at 12:30.