Going Low on Moving Day at Sahalee Players Championship
John Oda birdie chip
With 36 holes being played today during the 23rd Sahalee Players Championship, players are making the most of ideal weather conditions, firing at flags and shooting some low numbers on the championship-rich layout.
Shintaro Ban, who plays for the UNLV Runnin' Rebels, put up a respectable 5-under 67 in this morning's round, which included two eagles (on the par-5 holes, number two and 18), to immediately post his name on the first page of the leaderboard. After a 4-over 76 in yesterday's opening round, he needed to make something happen.
"I definitely hit better shots today," he said today between rounds. "I played in this event two years ago, and I love the course, and so I knew what I had to do. Yesterday I couldn't do it, but today I got it done."
Two years ago, Ban finished runner-up in the 2015 PNGA Men's Amateur, then won last summer's California State Amateur.
With Ban playing early this morning and taking his lunch break before heading out for his afternoon round, he watched as other players started posting some low numbers of their own.
Ban's teammate at UNLV, John Oda of Honolulu, was 6-under after 13 holes in his morning round, to hold a 1-shot lead over the other major mover of this morning, Blair Bursey of Canada.
Oda's tee shot on the short par-3 13th at Sahalee came up short, but he proceeded to chip in for birdie, the third birdie in his past four holes.
Earlier this season Oda qualified for the U.S. Open at Erin Hills. He is currently ranked No. 36 in the world (WAGR).
Blair Bursey, playing out of Utah Valley University, has made eight birdies in the first 13 holes of his morning round. On fire? Yes. He started the day three shots behind the leaders Drew McCullough and Min Woo Lee, and now is chasing Oda.
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