Second round: Tyler Duncan shot a 7-under 64 on Friday to take a one-shot lead in the Albertsons Boise Open over Alex Cejka and Taylor Moore. Cejka also was one shot back after the first round, but first-round leader Peter Uihlein plummeted to a tie for 14th at 6-under after a 74.
Former Boise State golfer Troy Merritt, who lives in Meridian, fired a 4-under 67 on a windy afternoon to get to 5-under. He’s tied for 19th as he tries to keep his spot on the PGA Tour for next season.
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Meanwhile, Ben Crane was disqualified before the second round in a bizarre situation. He carried, but didn’t use, two non-conforming clubs in the first round — a driver and 6-iron that had decals on them to help with data collection. They’re used for practice. Crane reported the driver on the 11th hole (his second) and was assessed a four-stroke penalty for No. 10. He reported the 6-iron on No. 14 and was assessed another four-stroke penalty. He ended up shooting a 68 that became a 76 with the penalty strokes. However, on Friday tour officials informed him that he was disqualified because he knew about the non-conforming 6-iron when he reported the driver.
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First round: Peter Uihlein shot a 9-under-par 62 on Thursday at Hillcrest Country Club to take a one-shot lead in the first round of the Albertsons Boise Open. Uihlein leads Alex Cejka, who made an ace on No. 17 for a 28 on the back nine. Former champion Steve Wheatcroft (2014) is 6-under and Troy Merritt of Meridian is 1-under.
Uihlein, an Oklahoma State product, earned his PGA Tour card by winning the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship on Sept. 3. That was the first event in the Web.com Tour Finals. He also is 13th in the Race to Dubai on the European Tour but decided to play in Boise to try to secure the No. 1 spot from the Web.com Tour Finals to the PGA Tour, which includes a full tour exemption and a spot in The Players Championship.
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There will plenty on the line — and plenty of talent on the course — as the Albertsons Boise Open returns to Hillcrest Country Club this week.
This year marks the 28th playing of the event and the second consecutive year the golf tournament is one of four Web.com Tour Finals events.
The field is made up of the top 75 money-winners on the Web.com Tour and players who finished 126th through 200th on the PGA Tour’s FedExCup points list at the end of each tour’s regular season.
The players will compete for 25 PGA Tour cards. The top 25 money-winners after the four Finals events who haven’t already qualified for the PGA Tour earn those cards. The total purse for the event is $1 million, with $180,000 going to the winner.
Five former Boise Open champions will be in this week’s field: Michael Thompson (2016), Martin Piller (2015), Steve Wheatcroft (2014), Luke Guthrie (2012) and Jason Gore (2002).
Boise Open fan facts
▪ Where: Hillcrest Country Club, Boise
▪ Thursday (first round): 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
▪ Friday (second round): 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
▪ Saturday (third round): 7 a.m.; leaders tee off at approximately 1:45 p.m.
▪ Sunday (final round): 7 a.m.; leaders tee off at approximately 1:45 p.m. (awards ceremony after 5 p.m.)
▪ Who: Top 75 players on the Web.com Tour, Nos. 126-200 on the PGA Tour and select other golfers
▪ Purse: $1 million ($180,000 for winner)
▪ TV: The Golf Channel
▪ Tickets: $15 daily grounds, $25 weekly grounds ($35 at the gate), $50 weekly clubhouse ($70 at the gate). Youths 17 and younger get in free with a ticketed adult. Purchase, or get more information, at albertsonsboiseopen.com/tickets-info.
▪ Parking: Free shuttle from the airport economy lot at Victory and Orchard
▪ Free junior clinic: Idaho Statesman Junior Clinic, 5 p.m. Wednesday, Hillcrest driving range. All junior golfers will receive a complimentary gift. Clubs will be provided if needed.
▪ Family Day: Lighthouse Foods Family Day runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday with snacks, games and free lunch for children 17 and younger.
Players to watch
The former Boise State golfer surely will draw some of the largest crowds as he competes. Merritt finished 151st in the FedExCup standings this season, with one top-10 finish on the PGA Tour (tied for 8th at the Travelers Championship in June). Merritt missed the cut in the first Web.com Tour Finals event, but perhaps the familiarity of Hillcrest will give him a boost. He has played in six previous Boise Opens (best finish was a tie for 11th in 2011).
The 35-year-old certainly has an impressive resume: He has won six times on the PGA Tour, where he has almost $30 million in career earnings, and played in the Ryder Cup three times. He hasn’t had one of his best seasons, but two of his steadiest performances came in his previous two tournaments, including a tie for 13th in the first tournament of the Web.com Tour Finals.
If you’re looking for a sentimental favorite, then Adams might be your man. Although he made more than $1 million on the PGA Tour in both 2011 and 2012 he is still looking for his first professional victory. His best chance at a win? Likely in 2009, when he led the Boise Open by four strokes after three rounds and ended up losing by one stroke to Fran Quinn.
Perhaps no other golfer has as much momentum as Armour heading into the Boise Open. Armour needed a win or second-place finish at the Wyndham Championship to earn a spot in the FedExCup playoffs. He shot a final-round 64 to make it interesting, but finished in a tie for fourth. He kept his hot hand in the first round of the Web.com Tour Finals, however, and led after the third round before losing by one stroke. The Ohio State grad has played more than 100 PGA Tour events.
The 46-year-old Australian has won nine times on the PGA Tour. He is one of six players to shoot a 59 in a PGA Tour event. Appleby, who has one top-10 finish on the PGA Tour this season, has earned more than $29 million in his career.
The Oklahoma State product earned his PGA Tour card by winning the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship on Sept. 3. The victory in the first Web.com Tour Finals event earned him $180,000, enough to secure his spot in the top 25 after the Finals end Oct. 1.
The 34-year-old from Missouri topped the Web.com Tour money list after the regular season with $368,761 in earnings. He obviously likes playing in the West, with his two wins this season coming in Utah and Portland.
Looking for the hottest Web.com player coming into the Boise Open? That might be Landry, the University of Arkansas graduate who finished fourth in the final money standings. Landry, who had one victory and seven top-10 finishes this season, followed up his strong regular-season showing with a third-place finish in the first tournament of the Web.com Tour Finals.
Arnold Palmer’s grandson made his pro debut at the Boise Open in 2009. He is still looking for his first pro victory, but he is coming off his best season on the PGA Tour. He finished 129th in the FedExCup standings, just a few spots away from qualifying for the FedExCup playoffs.