No doubt about it, being at, near or inside the cut-line is much easier on the psyche than floundering miles away from it.
And Puyallup’s Derek Barron is understanding that fully this week at the first stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School in California.
Barron, an Emerald Ridge High graduate, rebounded with a 3-under-par 69 under calmer conditions for the second round Wednesday at San Juan Oaks Golf Club.
He is at 2-under 142 at the midway point, and tied for 27th. The top 22 move on to the second stage.
Univeristy Place’s Andrew Putnam shot a 70, and is also near the cutline at even-par 144. Lakewood’s Chris Griffin (78) and Fife’s Chris Ming (74) are a ways back at 151.
Barron started out by hitting a pitching wedge approach to within 18 inches for a tap-in birdie on the first hole, did the same thing two holes later – and ended his round with a birdie at No. 18, draining a downhill 12-footer from behind the hole.
“The difference between yesterday and today, I was a lot more comfortable,” Barron said. “Playing the course one more time, you see something more that was different, and get to know it.
“It is big (to be close to the cutline. When you see your name outside the number, I don’t care who you are, it is normal to panic,” Barron said. “But you see it in the number, you think, ‘I am one of the best guys here.’ It means you are confident.”
AT PGA TOUR QUALIFYING SCHOOL
This week: First stage from Tuesday through Friday, San Juan Oaks Golf Club, Hollister, Calif.
In the field: Puyallup’s Derek Barron, Tacoma’s Chris Griffin, Fife’s Chris Ming and University Place’s Andrew Putnam.
Barron’s second-round score: 3-under-par 69.
Putnam’s second-round score: 2-under 70.
Ming’s second-round score: 2-over 74.
Griffin’s second-round score: 6-over 78.
Position: Barron (2-under 142) is tied for 27th, Putnam (even-par 144) is tied for 39th, and Ming and Griffin (7-over 151) are tied for 67th – all trailing leader Mark Warman (133).
Tee times Thursday: Putnam at 8:55 a.m. PDT off the 10th tee; Barron at 9:15 a.m. PDT off the first tee; Ming at 10:15 a.m. PDT off the 10th tee; and Griffin at 10:25 a.m. PDT off the 10th tee.