Jack Lempke of Bent Tree Country Club in Texas fired a 5-under 67 Friday at the PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course to grab a two-shot lead at the halfway point of the National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Combined with an opening-round 70 over the 7,123-yard, par-72 Wanamaker Course layout, it gave Lempke a 7-under 137 total.
Ryan McGinnis, representing the Central New York Section, matched Lempke’s 67 to get a share of second place at 5-under 139. Danny Lewis of Oaks Run Golf Club in Ohio carded a 4-under 68 and is tied with McGinnis for second at 139.
Ben Polland of Deepdale Golf Club in New York also posted a 4-under 68 and is alone in fourth place at 4-under 140. Polland let the 2015 PGA Professional Championship slip away when he took a double bogey on the final hole at the Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Wissahickon Course.
Dylan Malafronte of TPC Jasna Polana in New Jersey posted a 3-under 69 and is in a tie for fifth at 3-under 141. He was joined at that figure by Patrick Grady of Colorado National Golf Club in Colorado, who added a 1-under 71 to his opening-round 70, and Todd Bailey of Rock Creek Golf Club in Alabama, who added a 2-under 70 to his opening-round 71.
Gene Fieger, who dominated the Philadelphia Section PGA as an assistant pro at Overbrook Golf Club in the 1990s, is right in the mix with a 2-under 142 total that his him tied for eighth. Fieger of The Club Pelican Bay in Naples, Fla. added a 2-under 70 to his opening-round 72.
Sunnybrook Golf Club’s Corey McAlarney, coming off a victory in the Philadelphia Section’s Match Play Championship, got inside the cut line with a 2-under 70. Combined with his opening-round 77, it left McAlarney tied for 33rd at 3-over 147.
Lookaway Golf Club’s Michael Little also made the cut, adding a 75 to his opening-round 74 to sit at 149. The cut to the low 70 and ties fell at 151.
Whitford Country Club’s Andrew Turner, who opened with a solid 73, struggled in with an 81 and failed to make the cut at 154.
Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Tony Perla was also a casualty, adding an 80 to his opening-round 82.
The top assistant pros from around the country are competing for a top prize of $9,000 out of a total purse of $100,000. The winner also receives a berth in the PGA Professional Championship, which will be held next June at the Sunriver Resort in Oregon.