Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat carded a second round of 2-under 69 to share 27th place in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship on Friday, five shots behind co-leaders David Lipsky and Stephen Jaeger.
The 32-year-old Kiradech made four birdies against two bogeys at The Ohio State University Golf Club (Scarlet Course) for a 5-under 137 total and is projected to drop from T15 to T22 in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals Top-25 standings, which will see the leading 25 players earning PGA TOUR memberships.
The Thai star, who is a four-time European Tour winner, lost his PGA TOUR card by finishing outside the top-125 of the FedExCup standings following the conclusion of the Regular Season two weeks ago. After finding 12 fairways and 13 greens in regulation, his birdies came on Hole Nos. 12, 14, 17 and 4 and he dropped bogeys on the 10th and 13th holes.
Japan’s Satoshi Kodaira, a one-time winner on the PGA TOUR, fired a flawless 64 to charge into a share of third place to enhance his chances of a quick return to the TOUR. He toured the front nine with seven birdies, including five in a row from the fourth hole, and then parred home to end the day one off the lead.
Three other Asians missed the halfway cut, which puts them in a do-or-die final event next week in their chase for one of the 25 PGA TOUR cards available in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals.
Korea’s Seung-yul Noh and China’s Marty Zecheng Dou shot 69s to miss the cut set at 139 by one and two shots respectively while Byeong Hun An stumbled to a 75 to miss the cut for the second straight week.
Nothing changed atop the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship leaderboard Friday, as 18-hole leaders Jaeger and Lipsky fired matching 2-under 69s and reached 10-under par for the tournament, leaving them one stroke clear of seven players in T3 position.
The Korn Ferry Tour is currently projecting players who finish two-way T5 or better in a Korn Ferry Tour Finals event to earn one of 25 PGA TOUR cards available via The Finals 25. Those PGA TOUR cards will be awarded at the conclusion of next week’s Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance.
Third-round pairings will run from 9:30 a.m. through 3:05 p.m. off the first tee. Golf Channel will provide live telecast coverage from 5-7 p.m.
- The 36-hole cut was made at 3-under par, with 65 professionals advancing to the weekend
- Stephan Jaeger finished T5 at the 2020 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, and it was the first time in his five starts at the event he finished higher than T24
- David Lipsky is making his third career start at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship; he missed the cut in 2019 and 2020
- At the 2021 Emerald Coast Classic at Sandestin this past April, Jaeger defeated Lipsky in a playoff for his second win of the season and sixth Korn Ferry Tour win of his career – which moved him within one of Jason Gore’s all-time record
- Aaron Rai (T9 / -8), a two-time winner on the European Tour who secured his first PGA TOUR card last week, carded the lowest round of the day with an 8-under 63
- Rai’s 8-under 63 tied the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship 18-hole scoring record previously established by six players, including Jaeger and Lipsky in Thursday’s opening round
- Akron, Ohio natives Ryan Armour (T27 / -5) and Justin Lower (T42 / -4) both survived the 36-hole cut; Armour now plays from Silver Lake, Ohio, while Lower plays from Canal Fulton, Ohio
- Weather: Partly cloudy, high of 89 degrees, wind SW at 4-12 mph
- The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship is the second event of the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, a three-event series which determines the second set of 25 PGA TOUR cards given out for the upcoming 2021-22 season; the first set of 25 PGA TOUR cards was awarded to the top 25 point earners through the 43-event 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour regular season
- This week’s purse is $1,000,000, with $180,000 going to the champion; the champion will also receive 1,000 Korn Ferry Tour points
Second-Round Course Statistics
- Toughest Hole – No. 2, Par 4, 472 yards (4.184 – 10 birdies, 35 bogeys)
- Easiest Hole – No. 12, Par 5, 562 yards (4.478 – two eagles, 75 birdies, eight bogeys)
- Scoring Average (Front 9 – Par 36) – 35.316
- Scoring Average (Back 9 – Par 35) – 34.426
- Scoring Average (Total) – 69.743
Cumulative Course Statistics
- Toughest Hole – No. 2, Par 4, 472 yards (4.136 – 24 birdies, 56 bogeys, two double bogeys or worse)
- Easiest Hole – No. 12, Par 5, 562 yards (4.495 – six eagles, 142 birdies, 14 bogeys or worse)
- Scoring Average (Front 9 – Par 36) – 35.399
- Scoring Average (Back 9 – Par 35) – 34.330
- Scoring Average (Total) – 69.729