McKINNEY, Texas — Bangor native Jesse Speirs breathed new life into his attempt to make the PGA Tour during second-stage qualifying at TPC Craig Ranch on Wednesday.
Speirs, winner of the 2011 Greater Bangor Open golf tournament, fired a 4-under-par 68 and sits at 1-under-par 143 after his first two rounds of the four-day tournament.
The top 18 golfers and ties from each of this week’s six second-stage events advance to the final qualifier Nov. 28 to Dec. 3 at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif. The top 25 and ties at the final will earn their PGA Tour cards, while the next number closest to 50 will gain playing status on the Web.com Tour (formerly Nationwide).
Speirs, who now lives in Memphis, Tenn., started the day tied for 69th in the field of 78 players. He is now tied for 47th, 10 shots off the lead and five strokes out of the top 18.
The 25-year-old Speirs started on the 10th hole Wednesday and he started hot.
He birdied 10, 11 and 12, parred 13 and eagled the 330-yard, par-4 14th to sit at 5 under after five holes.
Speirs bogeyed 15 and parred 16 before he birdied 17 and eagled 18 to make the turn at 7-under-par 29.
His front nine was completely different, however. He parred seven holes and bogeyed No. 2 and double-bogeyed No. 5 for a 39.
The leader is Scott Gutschewski of Prosper, Texas, at 133. His 66 Wednesday followed an opening-round 67.
Scott Dunlap of Duluth, Ga., sits at 134 after also posting a 66 Wednesday, and Kyle Reifers of Clearwater, Fla.; Matt Jones of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Eric Meierdierks of Wilmette, Ill., are tied for third at 135. Reifers and Meierdierks had 67s Wednesday, and first-round co-leader Jones shot a 69.
Speirs is the tournament leader in eagles with three.