Harry Hall snags first 36-hole lead at the Wichita Open

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Harry Hall’s used to the scorching heat players are experiencing at the Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics. The University of Nevada-Las Vegas alum can deal with temperatures in excess of 100 degrees; he could do without the brutal humidity, though. Neither has bothered Hall too much through two days at Crestview Country Club, as the Englishman followed a first-round 6-under 64 with a 7-under 63 Friday and took a two-stroke lead on the field.

“I’ve been at UNLV for the last six years, so I know what 115 (degrees) feels like,” said Hall, who helped UNLV win three consecutive Mountain West Conference titles from 2016-18, earned the 2019 Mountain West Conference Player of the Year award, captured medalist honors at two events, and departed with the fourth-lowest career scoring average in program history. “It’s probably a little bit better than 95 (degrees) and 80 percent humidity.”

Hall’s bogey-free 63 featured seven birdies, two of which came amid the course’s most difficult stretch – Nos. 5-9, four the eight hardest holes Friday.

Hall began the stretch with a three at the par-3 fifth, the No. 3 toughest hole. He followed up with back-to-back birdies at the par-4 sixth and seventh, the No. 2 and T7 toughest holes, respectively. Hall knocked a 5-iron to eight feet for the first birdie, and drained a 30-footer for the second.

“To get a birdie on No. 6 and No. 7, that’s gaining a shot on the field,” Hall said. “That was nice.”

Pars at Nos. 8 and 9 capped Hall’s fourth round of 63 or in his Korn Ferry Tour career.

Hall, who represented Great Britain & Ireland in the 2019 Walker Cup, is a Korn Ferry Tour rookie making his 22nd start this week. The 23-year-old entered the week ranked 83rd in the 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour points standings. A win projects to vault Hall to 37th.

“I’m just a little bit out of the (Korn Ferry Tour) Finals. I’ve been pretty steady all year, but hopefully I can light some fireworks in the next few weeks. I played good at this point at the end of last year,” said Hall, who logged three top-10s in his final five starts of the 2020 calendar year. “Patience is pretty important. Everybody is in a similar spot. Everybody is fighting for a card. You’ve just got to play your game, and it might happen at the right time.”

Friday’s low rounds came from Nicolas Echavarria and Patrick Fishburn, who both tied the course record and tournament scoring record with matching 9-under 61s. The duo each had seven birdies and an eagle in their respective 61s.

Third-round tee times will be in groups of three and run from 7:23 a.m. through 11:55 a.m. local time off the first tee.

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