(Reuters) – Stuart Appleby dragged his chronically bad back to within a point of the lead after the second round at the Barracuda Championship in Nevada on Friday.
Appleby, the first round leader, stayed in contention by collecting six birdies and two bogeys for 10 points in the ‘Modified Stableford’ format at Montreux Country Club in Reno.
He ended the day in second place with 24 points, a point behind PGA Tour rookie Richy Werenski, who sank a 15-foot eagle putt at the last to take the halfway lead.
“To get 10 points today was nice,” Appleby, a nine-times PGA Tour winner who has not lifted a trophy since he shot 59 in the final round at the 2010 Greenbrier Classic, told reporters.
“Walking to the first tee that would have been a dream (because) I wasn’t really warming up that good on the range and was a little concerned but I made the cut, here we go, we’ll see what happens.
“I’m starting to make birdies, I’m rolling it nice, reading it nice. I’ve just got to keep the ball in the middle of the clubface and see if I can grab 20 points or something over the weekend.”
Appleby, 46, said he never knows from day to day how his body will feel after major back surgery in 2015.
“I’ve got to try and just see if I can get my body to behave over four days.
“I’m hitting it down the middle. My distance is not there or anything like that, but I’m hitting it where I can place the ball in the right positions.”
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford)