Alex Knoll followed up his record-breaking opening round with a solid 2-under-par 69 to hold a five-stroke lead Wednesday after 36 holes of the 98th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship.
Knoll, 34, of Glen Brook Golf Club in Stroudsburg, broke Sam Snead’s 78-year-old course record by two strokes Monday with an 8-under-par 62 on the Union League at Torresdale course. Coupled with Wednesday’s score at Riverton Country Club, he finished two rounds at 10-under 131.
Knoll birdied all three of Riverton’s par-5′s. For his two rounds thus far, he is 7-under on those holes.
Brendon Post, assistant golf coach at the University of Delaware, shot a 67 at the Union League course and was alone in second place at 136. Stonewall’s Ryan Lagergren fired the best round of the day, a 64 at Riverton that included an eagle and six birdies, and held third place at 137.
Defending champion Billy Stewart of The ACE Club was 3-under par for the tournament through 12 holes but went 3-over the rest of the way for a 70 and a 1-under 140. Ross Seaman of Manufacturers joined Stewart after a 69.
With Knoll holding a commanding lead in the chase for the $9,500 first-prize check from the total purse of $75,000, some of the focus has turned to the race to finish in the top 11 after Thursday’s final round, and earn a place in the 2020 PGA Professional Championship set for April in Austin, Texas.
Five players, including past champions Rich Steinmetz of Spring Ford, Terry Hertzog of York, and Brian Kelly of Lewisburg, were tied for eighth at 142.