Golf

Golfer Brice Garnett makes a homecoming out of his appearance in Digital Ally Open

Brice Garnett got the hometown crowd into his birdie putt on Saturday at the 17th hole at Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate in the Digital Ally Open on the Web.com Tour.
Brice Garnett got the hometown crowd into his birdie putt on Saturday at the 17th hole at Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate in the Digital Ally Open on the Web.com Tour. Courtesy PGA Tour

Brice Garnett donned a No. 29 Eric Berry Chiefs jersey before putting on the 17th green Saturday afternoon, much to the delight of the rowdy crowd in the bleachers and party tents. After sinking a 12-foot putt that briefly put him atop the leader board, he led the crowd in a tomahawk-chop chant.

Yes, he was shamelessly playing up his homefield advantage.

“It’s my home tournament,” Garnett said. “A lot of friends and family here, I’m a big Chiefs and Royals fan … so why not have a little fun on a Saturday?”

Brice’s brigade of friends and family followed him over all 18 holes at the Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate in Overland Park, and they watched him zoom up the leader board in the second round of the Web.com Tour’s Digital Ally Open. Garnett, a Gallatin, Mo., native and 2006 graduate of Missouri Western, shot a 7-under 64 for an 11-under 131 total after two rounds, good enough to leave him tied for fourth place going into a grueling 36-hole final day on Sunday.

Garnett is just 2 shots behind leader David Skinns, who shot a 64 for a 13-under 129, and 1 behind Rob Oppenheim, whose 8-under 63 shot early in the day stood until Skinns’ late charge, and Brandon Harkins, who also finished strong.

But the big draw for most of the day was Garnett, who is seeking his second Web.com Tour victory this season. The gallery gave him an extra spark, which he needed after starting the week battling a flu bug. Thursday’s rain-induced postponement, he said, came as a blessing even if it makes for a long finishing day Sunday.

“Caught a huge break with Thursday being delayed,” Garnett said. “Kind of battled it out yesterday, and today the crowd kind of got behind me and helped push me to the finish.”

Garnett was still feeling a little woozy as he started Saturday, but that didn’t keep him from getting birdies on five of his first nine holes. Back-to-back birdies on Nos. 13 and 14 put him in the top three, and his Chiefs-clad putt on 17 put him in a tie for first with Oppenheim. Garnett fell out of first when he 3-putted No. 18 for his only bogey on the day.

That couldn’t spoil Garnett’s day, not after enjoying the adoration of so many old buddies and relatives. They helped renew his strength, which will come in handy for Sunday’s two-round marathon.

“I’m in a great position to try to win for the second time this year,” Garnett said. “I’ll be ready. I’ll eat good tonight, get up drink some fluids and come out ready to roll.”

Skinns, meanwhile, was a steady 3-under on both the front and back nines. He went 3-under over his last three holes, highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 570-yard 15th hole. He put his drive 225 yards out and he lofted a 5-iron to within 8 feet of the pin.

I was in between a 4 and a 5 (iron) but I was telling my caddie there was enough wind behind me to hit a hard, high 5-iron,” Skinns said. “That was probably my best shot of the day.”

Andrew Landry, the leader after Friday’s opening round, slipped into a tie for 10th at 9-under 133. Landry, who shot a 67 on Friday, had a 1-under 70 on Saturday that included a bogey and a double bogey on two of his first three holes.

Chase Hanna’s first Web.com Tour event ended when he failed to make the cut. Hanna, who played in college at Kansas and in high school at Shawnee Mission East, shot a 2-over 73 for a 2-under 140 total, missing the cut by 2 strokes.

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