Justin Thomas and Bobby Wyatt have known each other since they were 8 years old and they’re now teammates on the University of Alabama golf team.
But up until Friday they had only ever played one round of tournament golf together.
They’re about to get another one.
Thomas shot a 1-under 69 on Friday to take the lead after the second round of the 59th Sunnehanna Amateur Tournament for Champions. Wyatt’s even-par round left him a stroke back of his Crimson Tide teammate, but they’ll be in the final grouping with Blake Morris of Ole Miss when they tee off at 12:20 this afternoon at the par-70 Sunnehanna Country Club course.
“Bobby’s not just a teammate of mine, but he’s also one of my best friends out on the golf circuit and as a social friend. It is cool playing with him,” said Thomas, who is from Goshen, Ky. “We enjoy playing with each other and just kind of keep each other relaxed. Hopefully we’ll play a little bit better tomorrow.”
Thomas, who was tied with Wyatt at 5 under after the first round, wasn’t happy with his game on Friday.
“I felt like I played OK,” he said. “I didn’t play near as well as I did yesterday. I putted poorly. I had three 3-putts. That’s just giving three shots away and they weren’t really from hard places.”
Thomas got off to a strong start with a birdie on No. 1, but bogeyed No. 2. A birdie on No. 4 was canceled out by his 3-putt on No. 5. He got to 2 under for the day with back-to-back birdies on 10 and 11 but struggled down the stretch with a 3-putt for par on No. 15 and then another 3-putt on the final hole.
“Not a good taste in the mouth, 3-putting 18,” he said.
Wyatt bogeyed No. 2 but birdied the par-4 fourth. He birdied No. 8 before giving the stroke back on the 617-yard No. 9. His birdie on No. 11 was wiped out by a bogey on No. 14.
“I played OK,” said Wyatt, who is from Mobile, Ala. “I did a few good things, a few bad things. Made a few stupid bogeys. But, overall, I’m not unpleased with anything, the way it’s going. I’m right there with two days left. Got to be happy with that.”
Morris, who is from Waterbury, Conn., shot a 66 to a tie with Mexico City’s Sebastian Vazquez at 4 under for the tournament.
Mike Miller of Brewster, N.Y., is in fifth place at 3 under while Michael Kim, a University of California player from Del Mar, Calif., fell into a five-way tie for sixth after shooting a 2-over 72. Johannes Veerman, a Texas A&M student from Sugar Land, Texas, had an even tougher day. He shot a 4-over 74 to drop into a tie for 16th place.
Defending champion Nathan Smith of Pittsburgh and Brandon Hagy of Westlake Village, Calif., each shot a 65 for the lowest rounds of the day. They are part of a five-way tie for 11th place at 1 under for the tournament.
Sunnehanna Country Club champion Derek Hayes shot a 6-over 76 and is tied for 73rd with a 152.
Greater Johnstown winner Aaron Patalune of Portage was 11 over for the second straight day.
The tournament resumes at 8 this morning. The Amateur is free and open to the public.