Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tomasulo and Staten tied for Nationwide Tour lead

LEON, Mexico -- Peter Tomasulo began Friday with a one-stroke lead, and when he missed a short par putt on the final hole, he found himself tied at the top of the leaderboard with B.J. Staten at 9 under par after two rounds of the Bicentary Mexico Open. Tomasulo and Staten are a shot ahead of Californian Jamie Lovemark (71) and Madalitso Muthiya (68) of Zambia in the Nationwide Tour's $600,000 event.
Doug LaBelle (66) and Hunter Haas (69) share fifth place at 7-under 137.
"I gave one back on the last hole, which is pretty frustrating," said Tomasulo, who played in 25 PGA Tour events in 2009. "It's funny because I thought I was doing the smart thing by laying up with a bad lie in the rough."
Tomasulo had just 80 yards from the middle of the fairway for his third shot on the 567-yard, par-5 18th hole. His approach shot to the green was 35 long and he rolled his birdie putt to three feet and lipped out the par putt.
"All the trouble I've gotten into this week is from going too long with my approach shots," he said. "The elevation is tough to figure out and I'm hoping I'll make the right adjustment for tomorrow."
The former University of California at Berkley graduate hasn't won on the Nationwide Tour since the 2005 Alberta Classic.
"I'm feeling good and I'm playing well," he said. "I haven't been in this spot in a while and it's nice to be back here."
Staten, on the other hand, was in this position a few weeks ago headed into the final round of the Nationwide Tour's Melwood Prince George's County Open. He ended up shooting 6-over-par 77 and finished tied for 30th.
"It's too early to tell if I learned anything from that experience," said the lefty. "I know I had a bad attitude during the final round and my goal this week is to keep a positive attitude."
Staten's best finish on the Nationwide Tour was second place at the 2007 LaSalle Bank Open. Earlier this year he finished tied for third at the weather-shortened Rex Hospital Open.
"My game feels really good right now and I'm excited to play," added Staten. "I've played well in the last few events and I'm hoping to take that momentum into the rest of the Nationwide Tour schedule."
Lovemark already has four top-10 finishes this year and is No. 10 on the money list with $139,351. Just like Tomasulo, he struggled with the elevation change at El Bosque Country Club.
"When the wind is blowing as hard as it is and you're at 6,800 feet above sea level, it's tough to get the right yardages," said Lovemark. "I think I hit the wrong club at least eight times today."
Muthiya is playing in his first Nationwide Tour event of the year. He has been playing in mini tour events up until this point to keep his competitive edge.
"It's served me well so far out there," said the first Zambian to play in the 2006 U.S. Open. "I've shot under par in all my rounds and made all the cuts, but I haven't won."



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