It’s a mental game.
Just ask Andrew Yun.
Only a week ago, he missed the cut at Peoria Ridge Golf Club in Miami, site of the Buffalo Run Prairie Moon Casinos Classic. Thursday, on the other hand, he fired off his second straight 65 at Belmar Golf Club, site of the OK Kids Korral Championship, to take a five-stroke lead over both Drew Laning and Case Cochran.
Through 36 holes, the former Stanford golfer has carded 11 birdies against a single bogey.
Yun doesn’t think his game’s changed from one week to the next, but maybe his focus has received an overhaul.
“I learned a lot from that round in Wichita Monday,” he said.
That round in Wichita was Monday qualifying for the Web.com Tour, and it’s where many in the Belmar field were Monday.
The wind howled in Wichita, but no more than it howled in Norman for Wednesday’s opening round of the Adams Pro Tour event. And the lesson Yun brought from southern Kansas to central Oklahoma was one of being in the moment, because when the elements are fierce, terrific golf takes something approaching complete concentration.
Thursday, rain halted play for 21⁄2 hours in the morning, but afterward the wind slowed and the course remained soft. Still, the lessons that worked for Yun in the first round were still good for the second.
“Last week I wasn’t quite focused and at the Monday qualifier, lots of times I got ahead of myself,” he said. “(Here), my focus is a lot better.”
Yun’s opening 65 was two strokes better than anybody in the field. His second one wasn’t, but it was still good enough to add three shots to his lead.
When the third round begins today, he’ll be five strokes in front of Laning and Cochran, both of whom forged their position with huge second rounds, and six strokes in front of a six-headed group at 4-under par 136 after two rounds.
One player, Rhein Gibson, was 4-under par through 27 holes, but still finishing his round when play was called due to darkness. Despite the weather delay, only seven players failed to finish their second round.
Laning, a graybeard on the Adams Tour at 31, who finished up at TCU in 2006, has felt his game take off recently. His Thursday 64 included an amazing eight birdies against two bogeys.
“Now I’m driving it really, really well,” he said. “It’s given me lots of opportunities.”
A week ago, Laning was in the final group in Miami before a 79 sent him tumbling to a 29th-place finish. If that bothered him, he has still come back with 36 holes of strong golf.
“I know I’ve got the game to be there,” said Laning, who spent 2009 on the Web.com Tour, speaking of playing in the final group and a potential trip to the winner’s circle. “I know that I’m good enough to be there.”
Cochran, the son of PGA Tour veteran and Champions Tour competitor Russ Cochran, made seven birdies without a bogey Thursday.
His biggest moment was making par on the 12th hole after playing partner Anthony Broussard found his ball only 30 seconds before Cochran would have had to declare it lost.
“I was relieved after that,” he said.
Feeling that relief, Cochran, who played the back nine first, made birdies at Nos. 14, 17, 1, 2, 5, 7 and 9.
“I was kind of on cruise control,” he said. “I really like this golf course.”
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