Petefish leads by one over Hardy, others
GLENVIEW, Ill. – Christopher Petefish took the outright lead at 11-under par with a 5-under 66 in the second round of the NV5 Invitational presented by Old National Bank. The 36-hole lead marks the first of any kind on the Korn Ferry Tour for Petefish, a first-year member with eight career starts prior to this week. Four players – Harry Hall, Northbrook, Illinois native and University of Illinois alum Nick Hardy, Brad Brunner and Mac Meissner – sit one stroke behind Petefish at 10-under par.
Making his fifth start on the Korn Ferry Tour start this season, Petefish carded a 6-under 65 in the first round and matched his lowest round on the Korn Ferry Tour. The 26-year-old Georgia Tech alum followed it up with a 66 Friday afternoon, making six birdies against one bogey. Prior to this week, Petefish’s best 36-hole position in a Korn Ferry Tour event was T22 at last week’s AdventHealth Championship.
“Just happy with the way I played,” Petefish said. “Hit it pretty well out there, gave myself a lot of looks. Just keep playing like that and I'll be in pretty good shape this weekend. But, yeah, it's just two days.”
Petefish, who entered the second round T5 on the leaderboard, made three front-nine birdies (Nos. 2, 5, 8) and his lone bogey of the day at the par-4 fifth. Petefish took the outright lead on the back nine with three consecutive birdies at the par-4 13th, 14th, and 15th.
“I didn't have any real weaknesses in the game,” Petefish said. “I drove it somewhat well. My irons and my putting dictate most of my rounds, so those were pretty good the last two days.”
Petefish turned professional out of Georgia Tech, where he was a two-time All-America Scholar and All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection as a senior, in 2018. Petefish spent the last four years with PGA TOUR Canada, making 17 starts and logging five top-25s.
Petefish began the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour season with conditional status after a T91 at Final Stage of the Qualifying Tournament last November. The uncertainty of how many tournaments he would play this season weighed on the Cumming, Georgia resident.
“I didn't have great conditional (status). Figured I was only going to get a couple starts this year, maybe five or six during the summer,” Petefish said. “Honestly, I wasn't even getting into tournaments a month ago. The season's kind of changed a lot. It's been kind of wild.”
Petefish’s first tournament this year was the Astara Golf Championship presented by Mastercard in February; he was the third-to-last player in the field via the priority ranking. After a missed cut, Petefish was sidelined until the Huntsville Championship, which awarded him a sponsor exemption. A T60 there moved him into the reshuffle category, but it would not take effect for another two events. The turning point came two weeks ago at the Visit Knoxville Open, after which the reshuffle would occur. Petefish Monday qualified into the field, finished T24 for a spot in last week’s AdventHealth Championship, and catapulted even further up the reshuffle category.
“Those (Monday qualifiers) are really hard events. You have to go out there and shoot 6-, 8-, 10-under par to have a hope” Petefish said. “Then you're kind of behind the eight ball because you don't know the course and you show up on Tuesday. You just have to have belief in yourself and keep grinding and know that, eventually, I'm going to have a break and take advantage of it.
“I'm just happy and grateful to be playing. Just thankful to be out here.”
Third-round pairings will run from 7:40 a.m. through 1 p.m. local time off the first tee.