Date: March 22, 2008

Van Pelt cruises in Puerto Rico

Bo Van Pelt finished atop the leaderboard of the Puerto Rico Open for the second straight day on Friday (Puerto Rica time) as Tim Wilkinson and Steve Allan led the Australasian challenge. Van Pelt, though, fired a four-under-par 68 at Trump International Golf Club in the second round of the event, holing six birdies against two bogeys. “I wanted to try and take advantage of coming down here,” Van Pelt said. “I didn&apost want to just waste a trip, and so I was definitely focused coming in.” With an overall score of 12-under 132, Van Pelt holds a one-shot advantage over Jerry Kelly, who finished the day with a six-under 66. “I missed a few short putts, but made some longer ones, too,” Kelly said. “Sometimes the longer ones, you can give them a good run. So if you don&apost have the side hills, which will really take the ball hard on the side hills, that grain.” Van Pelt, who shot a 64 on Thursday, was even through nine holes on Friday before finding his stroke. After struggling through the back nine, Van Pelt birdied the next two holes before bogeying number three. “I got a little bit tentative on the back nine,” Van Pelt said. “I fought on a couple swings and had to kind of nick that in the bud and go ahead and stay aggressive, and did that when I came over to the front side and was able to make quite a few more birdies.” Van Pelt then birdied three of his final six holes to end the round. Ted Purdy, who entered Friday tied for second, fired a four-under 68 and sits in third place at 10-under. Kiwi Wilkinson, meanwhile, produced a solid five-under 67 on the second day to go into the weekend at six-under overall, six strokes behind the leader. It was up to Steve Allan and Gavin Coles to lead the Australian charge, with both players finishing the round at four-under overall after Allan posted two consecutive 70s and Coles added a three-under 69 to his opening 71. Stephen Leaney (70) is a further stroke back, one ahead of compatriots Michael Sim (70) and Andrew Buckle (72). This event is the first full-field sanctioned PGA Tour tournament ever held in Puerto Rico. Second Round of the Puerto Rican Open (Par 72): -12: Bo Van Pelt 64 68 -11: Jerry Kelly 67 66 -10: Ted Purdy 66 68 -9: Greg Kraft 69 66, Briny Baird 67 68, Ryan Blaum 69 66 -8: Brenden Pappas 67 69 -7: Marco Dawson 68 69, Jin Park 69 68 -6: Nicholas Thompson 67 71, Kyle Thompson 66 72, Tim Wilkinson (New Zealand) 71 67, John Merrick 68 70 -5: Kevin Stadler 70 69, Bob Tway 71 68, Tom Gillis 69 70, Alvaro Quiros 69 70, Tommy Armour III 72 67, Brian Gay 69 70, Chris Riley 70 69, Larry Mize 71 68 Also: -4: Steve Allan (Australia) 70 70, Gavin Coles (Australia) 71 69 -3: Stephen Leaney (Australia) 71 70 -2: Michael Sim (Australia) 72 70, Andrew Buckle (Australia) 70 72 +1: David Lutterus (Australia) 73 72 +2: Phil Tataurangi (New Zealand) 73 73 +7: Grant Waite (New Zealand) 77 74