Tyler McCumber, Dan McCarthy share Freedom 55 Financial Open lead

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Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida’s Tyler McCumber and Syracuse, New York’s Dan McCarthy reached 10-under par through 36 holes at Point Grey Golf and Country Club on Friday to share the second round lead at the Freedom 55 Financial Open, the opening event of the 2016 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada season.

McCumber, a two-time winner on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica in 2014, birdied the 18th hole for one of his six birdies in a round of 68 on Friday to match the lead set earlier by McCarthy, who was bogey-free with six birdies on the day.

“It was nice to get a shot back coming down the stretch. There were so many good shots today, but those are the ones to focus on for me,” said McCumber, a University of Florida graduate and the son of 10-time PGA TOUR winner Mark McCumber.

McCarthy, a veteran of 39 Mackenzie Tour starts, credited a more conservative approach to Point Grey’s tree-line layout than his last two starts in Vancouver, both of which resulted in missed cuts.

“I hit a ton of greens, so I wasn’t grinding out pars out there,” said McCarthy. “The pins are challenging, so you kind of have to make decisions to not go after them and play towards the fat part of the green, and that’s something I’ve learned over the years.”

One shot behind McCarthy and McCumber was Belleair, Florida’s Taylor Hancock, a recent University of North Florida grad making his pro debut this week.

“Surprisingly, I was just really calm. I don’t know why. It was just fun to be able to say I’m a professional,” said Hancock. “A couple of holes down the stretch, I started to feel it a little bit, but you live for that and that’s what you enjoy.”

Second Round Leaderboard (Bold denotes Canadian):

Dan McCarthy – 68-66 (-10)

Tyler McCumber – 66-68 (-10)

Taylor Hancock – 68-67 (-9)

Wade Binfield – 68-68 (-8)

Ben Geyer – 65-71 (-8)

DAN MCCARTHY SURGES TO LEAD AT FREEDOM 55 FINANCIAL OPEN

KEY NUMBERS TO KNOW:

1.556: Tyler McCumber’s putting average through two rounds.

17: Dan McCarthy’s number of Greens in Regulation, tops in the field on Friday.

6: Bogey-free rounds: (Dan McCarthy, 66; Erick Justesen, 67; Caleb Sturgeon, 68; Scott Vincent, 68; Joe Parkinson, 69; Aron Price, 70).

QUOTABLES:

“When you get to each higher level, you realize parts of your game or your mental side become exposed that you need to work on. Last year definitely was not quite what I planned on, but I learned a lot and I think I’ll be a better player for it. I know I’ve made those changes, and I’m ready to play.” – Tyler McCumber on finishing 90th on the Web.com Tour Money List last year after finishing third on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Order of Merit in 2014.

“We see guys like Justin (Thomas) and (Jordan) Spieth, and guys who are having success at a young age, and you want that, but you can’t want that. You have to figure it out how to do it yourself.” – McCumber on the learning curve on his path to reach the Web.com Tour and PGA TOUR.

“When you start getting up near the lead it’s hard not to think about it, but I’ve been up near the lead a couple of times now, and I’ve learned what happens to me when I get in that position and I’m a little bit more comfortable.” – Daniel McCarthy on being comfortable while being in contention.

“The fields are really deep. If you win out here, you can win anywhere, PGA TOUR or Web.com Tour aside; I mean, you can probably win a Web event if you can win out here. The guys are that good,” – Wade Binfield on the depth of competition on the Mackenzie Tour.

“I can’t wait to get this playoff beard off, but if it gets us a Cup, I’m in for that.” – Binfield on his favourite team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, advancing to the Stanley Cup final.

“I think I was one shot behind the cut to start the day, so that was more on my mind to try to try and play solid and be patient and at least be here for the weekend. My perspective started to change once I knew things were rolling.” – Seth Reeves on rebounding from 1-over 73 with an 8-under 64 on Friday.

NOTES:

Tyler McCumber

25-year old Tyler McCumber is the son of 10-time PGA TOUR winner Mark McCumber.

In 2014, McCumber won twice on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and finished third on the Order of Merit to earn status on the Web.com Tour. Last year, McCumber finished 90th on the Web.com Tour Money List to retain conditional status.

McCumber is in the field this week playing out of a category for Web.com Tour members.

Dan McCarthy

Dan McCarthy is making his 39th career start on the Mackenzie Tour this week. He has held membership in from 2009-2010 and since 2014.

In 2015, the 30-year old was 88th on the Order of Merit entering the Cape Breton Open last year and finished the week T4 to sneak inside the top 60 entering the Freedom 55 Financial Championship and retain exempt status for 2016.

His best career finish is a T3 at the 2014 Cape Breton Open.

Taylor Hancock

23-year old Taylor Hancock is making his professional debut this week after recently completing his collegiate career at the University of North Florida. The 23-year old recently graduated with a degree in Management and Marketing.

In 2015, Hancock was named to the Atlantic Sun 2nd All-Conference team.

Hancock’s caddie this week is also his mother, Sandra.

The last player to win on the Mackenzie Tour in their Tour debut was Drew Weaver at the 2015 Freedom 55 Financial Open.

Wade Binfield

Wade Binfield is making his 13th career start in his second season on the Mackenzie Tour. His best career finish is a T5 at the National Capital Open to Support Our Troops.

In 2015, Binfield shot a 10-under 62 at Point Grey Golf and Country Club during the official Pro-Am.

From 2010-2014, Binfield worked as a substitute High School teacher in Georgia.

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