WICHITA, Kan. – Harry Hall is used to the scorching heat players experience at the Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics. The University of Nevada-Las Vegas alum can handle temperatures over 100 degrees; however, he could do without the relentless dampness. Neither has bothered Hall too much during two days at Crestview Country Club as the Englishman followed a 6-under 64 first round with a 7-under 63 on Friday and took a two-stroke lead on the field.
“I’ve been with UNLV for the past six years, so I know what 115 (degrees) feels like,” said Hall, who helped UNLV win three consecutive Mountain West Conference titles from 2016-18, and the Mountain West Conference Player 2019 earned of the year, earning medals in two events and leaving with the fourth-lowest average in the program’s history. “It’s probably a little bit better than 95 (degrees) and 80 percent humidity.”
Hall’s bogey-free 63 featured seven birdies, two of which came amid the toughest part of the course — Nos. 5-9, four of the eight hardest holes on Friday.
Hall started the course with a three on the par-3 fifth, the number 3 most difficult hole. He followed with back-to-back birdies on the par-4 sixth and seventh, the No. 2 and T7 hardest holes, respectively. Hall knocked a 5-iron to eight feet for the first birdie and emptied a 30-footer for the second.
“To get a birdie at number 6 and number 7 is an opportunity on the field,” Hall said. “That was fun.”
Pars at Nos. 8 and 9 capped Hall’s fourth round of 63 or in his Korn Ferry Tour career.
Hall, who represented Great Britain and Ireland in the 2019 Walker Cup, is a Korn Ferry Tour rookie making his 22nd start this week. The 23-year-old came in the week as 83rd in the 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour points standings. A victory projects to jump Hall to the 37th.
“I just kind of got out of the (Korn Ferry Tour) Finals. I’ve been pretty stable all year, but hopefully I can set off some fireworks in the coming weeks. I played well at this point at the end of last year,” said Hall, who scored three top 10s in his last five starts of the 2020 calendar year. “Patience is quite important. Everyone is in the same place. Everyone is fighting for a card. just play your game and it can happen at the right time.”
Friday’s low rounds came from Nicolas Echavarria and Patrick Fishburn, who both tied the course and tournament scoring record with matching 9-under 61s. The duo each had seven birdies and an eagle in their 61s respectively.
Start times for the third round will be in groups of three and run from 7:23 AM to 11:55 AM local time from the first tee.