By Jay Skurski
At the top: He's from Massachusetts, but Richy Werenski strikes the perfect California cool vibe. The 20-year-old Georgia Tech junior with a great name shot a sparkling 8-under 62 Thursday in the second round of the 54th Porter Cup to open a four-shot lead. Werenski, who's playing in his first Porter Cup, has yet to make a bogey.
In the hunt: Joining Werenski in the final group today will be defending champion Patrick Rodgers and Justin Thomas, the fifth- and sixth-ranked players in the world, by the Scratch Players World Amateur Rankings. No pressure. Thomas, the best collegiate golfer in the country, shot a 63 Thursday, while Rodgers carded "only" a 65. Also at 8 under, four shots back and tied with Rodgers and Thomas, is University of Florida senior Tyler McCumber. It's a great leader board, one that Tournament Director Steve Denn must have been hoping for before the tournament started.
Birdie barrage: The wind picked up and then the rain came in the afternoon, but you wouldn't know it by looking at some of the scorecards turned in Thursday. Lewiston's own Mike Boss ripped off five birdies in a row to start his back nine, shooting a round of 66. Werenski birdied four in a row and five of six holes. McCumber went five in a row and six of seven at one point in his round.
Locals go low: Boss' 66 was his career best at NFCC, where he's the club champion. Clarence's Matt Stasiak shot 3-under 67 in the second round to move up 26 spots in the field.
Buffalo's Chris Covelli also improved on his opening-round 74 by shooting a 73. It was a struggle for North Tonawanda's James Blackwell and Hamburg's Brian Jurkiewicz, though. They shot 77 and 79, respectively, and will be in the first group off the tee at 8:30 a.m. Friday.
Quotable: "After that I really tried to hammer on the gas pedal and see how low I can go ... It was just a good day," -- Thomas, talking about his stretch of four straight birdies.