Putnam takes sole possession of WNB Golf Classic lead

Midland, TX ( - Andrew Putnam carded his second straight 6- under 66 to claim sole possession of the lead at the WNB Golf Classic.

Putnam, who shared the first-round lead with two others, finished 36 holes at Midland Country Club at 12-under-par 132.

Tom Gillis fired the low round of the day with an 8-under 64 to jump into second place at 11-under 133, while first-round co-leader Rod Pampling (69) and two-time winner this season Carlos Ortiz (68) shared third at minus-9.

Trevor Murphy, the other first-round co-leader, managed just a 1-under 71 to fall into a tie for fifth place at 7-under 137. He was joined by Oscar Fraustro (69), Richard S. Johnson (69), Harold Varner III (69), Mathew Goggin (68), Josh Broadaway (67) and Justin Thomas (68).

Putnam opened his round with a par before rolling in three straight birdies from the second to move to 9-under. He then followed a par at the fifth with back-to-back gains at the sixth and seventh.

A bogey at the 10th dropped him back to 10-under, but he got that shot back with a birdie at the 14th and later reached minus-12 with a birdie at the 17th. He parred the last to end there.

"We knew the wind was supposed to kick up on the back side," said Putnam. "This is the type of course you can play in the wind. I think it's built for wind and you can still play good golf when it's blowing."

Gillis started on the back nine and parred his first two holes before converting three straight birdies from the 12th. He added another gain at the 17th to reach 7-under at the turn.

He picked up two more birdies at the second and fifth to move to minus-9 and capped his bogey-free round with gains at the eighth and ninth to pull within a shot of Putnam entering the weekend.

"I was fairly sleepy. I did a little workout on the range and my body was a little slow. I was thinking it was going to be a battle," Gillis said about how he felt prior to the start of his round. "I think as you get older you have more of those mornings. At that point you're expectations go down a little bit."

Ortiz atoned for a double-bogey 6 at the fifth hole with six birdies during his round, while Pampling countered two bogeys with five birdies to earn his share of third place.

NOTES: Putnam is currently sixth on the money list ... Ortiz can earn an instant promotion to the PGA Tour with another win this season ... The cut line fell at 1-under 143, with 77 players advancing to the weekend ... The last 36-hole leader of this tournament to go on and win was Marc Leishman in 2008 ... Glen Day withdrew prior to the start of the second round.