Wheeler leads by 6 at Hollytree

Dr. David Bright lines up his put on the first green during the 2013 Men's Club Championship at the Hollytree golf course on Saturday morning. Photo by Shannon Wilson

Jim Wheeler sat back and talked with his fellow competitors while a television in the background showed Tiger Woods continued dominance of the World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational.

Wheeler and Woods have a little in common as both will sleep on sizeable leads entering the final rounds of their respective golf tournaments. Woods leads by seven at Firestone and Wheeler leads the 2013 Hollytree Men’s Club Championship by six shots.

Wheeler followed up his 2-under 70 on Friday with an equally solid 1-under 71 at Hollytree Country Club. An eight-time club champion already, Wheeler made sure he would go into Sunday’s final round with a six-shot advantage after chipping in for birdie on No. 18.

The third and final round of the Club championship begins at 1:30 p.m. today at Hollytree with the top three players — Wheeler, Ryan Slaughter and Reggie Howell — teeing off at 2:10 p.m.

“I hit it in the water on No. 1 and made bogey and then I missed a putt on No. 2, but from there in I was 3-under,” Wheeler said. “I hit the ball on the green — not close, but I was on the green and was able to make the putts.”

In second place is Slaughter who also carded a 1-under round after shooting 76 on Friday.

The low round of the day went to 2011 champion Reggie Howell. Last year’s runner-up, Howell bounced back from a 78 on Friday to shoot a 2-under 70 and leave him in third place, seven shots back.

Howell was happy with his round, but believes Wheeler is in control of the event.

“Jimmy is playing so well and he’s driving it very straight and he’s hitting his irons solid,” Howell said. “He’s not making any mistakes. He’s hitting fairways and greens and he’s going to be tough.”

Howell’s two-rounds have been comprised of birdies, bogeys and doubles. The two-time champion believes if he can eliminate the latter two, he might have a chance to catch Wheeler.

“I’ve had five double bogeys in two days, but I’ve made 12 birdies,” Howell said. “You make 12 birdies and you should be under par, so it’s frustrating. I don’t see Jimmy shooting any higher than 73 or 74, so I am just going to go out there and see how low I can get because I know I can make birdies.”

2013 Men’s Club Championship

Hollytree Country Club

Second Round Results, Saturday

1, Jim Wheeler, 70-71—141; 2, Ryan Slaughter, 76-71—147; 3, Reggie Howell, 78-70—148; T4, James Mills, 72-79—151; Darin Newhouse, 80-71—151; 6, Jerrod Dickens, 74-78—152; T7, Jeff Keith, 77-76—153; Joe Smith, 73-76—153; T9, Jerry Hudgins, 77-79—156; Trey Brooks, 77-79—156; 11, Wes Alexander, 76-72—158; 12, Roy Smith, 83-76—159; 13, Drew Gillen, 85-78—163; 14, Jason Clark, 80-84—164; T15, Winn Galyean, 80-85—165; George McMann, 81-84—165; 17, John Holland, 85-81—166; 18, Chris Ewert, 80-87—167; 19, Dr. David Bright, 82-86—168; 20, Joe Freeman, 83-88—171; 21, Mike Clendenin, 86-86—172.

Today’s Final Round Tee Times

No. 1 Tee: 1:30 p.m. — Drew Gillen, Jason Clark, Winn Galyean; 1:40 p.m. — Trey Brooks, Wes Alexander, Roy Smith; 1:50 p.m. — Jeff Keith, Joe Smith, Jerry Hudgins; 2 p.m. — James Mills, Darin Newhouse, Jerrod Dickens; 2:10 p.m. — Jim Wheeler, Ryan Slaughter, Reggie Howell. No. 10 Tee: 1:55 p.m. — Dr. David Bright, Joe Freeman, Mike Clendenin; 2:05 p.m. — George McMann, John Holland, Chris Ewert.

Other Flights

No. 1 Tee: 12:30 p.m. — Buddy Ogletree (83), Joe McCreery (84), Mike Terry (84), Terry Blevins (85); 12:40 p.m.—Nick Hopkins (76), John McDaniel (79), Richard Wilson (79), David Stiles (81); 12:50 p.m.—Joe McKinley (80), Jim O’Toole (82), Mike Griffin (83); 1 p.m.—Stuart Hene (76), Rick Varner (77), Jim Vaughn (80). No. 10 Tee: 12:35 p.m. — Joe Elliott (90), Don Graham (91), Tim Hegwood (92); 12:45 p.m. — Curt Bateman (84), Drew Von Eschenbach (90), Bruce Cannon (90); 12:55 p.m. — Mike Sterritt (92), David Melton (93), Dave Anderson (93); 1:05 p.m. — Jim Lowden (87), John Oberg (89), Richard Davis (91); 1:15 p.m. — Jerry Dengler (83), Mick Mongold (84), Jay Pirtle (85); 1:35 p.m. — John Holt (83), Gavin Rasco (83), John Hammond (85).

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