Jul 7, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorThe former Riverton High School golfer stands 5 under par with one round to go.
Riverton golfer Zach Waxler has built a two-stroke lead after the first two rounds of the Wyoming Amateur Championship at the Riverton Country Club.
Waxler opened the tournament with a 67 on Friday, then followed Saturday with a 72.
Waxler spent last season on the Utah State University men's golf team.
Jackson's Edward Stewart is second after scoring a 71 and a 70.
Riverton golfer P.J. Thomas (70-75) and Lander Valley High School assistant golf coach Mike Watson (73-71) are tied for fifth in the standings. Thomas is on the University of Wyoming golf team.
The final round is slated to end Sunday afternoon.
"The field is a real strong field," Riverton Country Club golf pro Steve Johnson said. "It's not quite as strong as the Saltwater amateur field, just because we were drawing the BYU players and the Utah State players."
The tournament is expected to be finished by 3 p.m. Sunday.
"I think that 9-under par is going to be right about where it ends up," Johnson said.
Ryan Graham from Buffalo is the defending champion. He struggled with a 76 in the opening round Friday in Riverton, the slumped to a 79 in the second round to fall out of contention.
"We had rain on Wednesday and Thursday," Johnson said. "The golf course is in unbelievable shape. The greens are just perfect. The only thing that would have made it a little tougher is if we didn't have the moisture. We couldn't ask for a better golf course."
Golfers must have an 8 handicap or lower to be in the tournament.
"It's just limited by ability and not by age," Johnson said.
"Scoring was good on the first day," Johnson said.
Waxler hit birdies Friday on No. 3, No. 5, No. 6, No. 8, No. 10, No. 11 and No. 12.
"Zach just had an amazing round," Johnson said. "He plays really smart. He hits the ball a long way. He managed the game and the course really well. He hit smart shots. He wasn't trying to power the ball. He had the putts where he could make runs at birdies."
He did bogeyed No. 4 and No. 13.
Riverton's Aaron Nirider finished with a 70 on Friday. Nirider had a double bogey on No. 18. Nirider claimed birdies on No. 9, No. 10, No. 14 and No. 15.
"Aaron played great," Johnson said. "Unfortunately, he doubled-bogeyed the last hole. He played 17 beautiful holes. He still had a great round."
Nirider had a 77 in the second day.
Riverton's Easton Paxton is seventh after scores of 72 and 73.
Scores from the Wyoming Amateur Championship
1. Zach Waxler, Riverton, 67-72; 2. Edward Stewart, Jackson, 71-70; 3. Kyle Siddoway, Green River, 69-73; 4. John Murdock IV, Laramie, 69-74; 5. (tie) P.J. Thomas, Riverton, 70-74; Mike Watson, Lander, 73-71. (tie) Easton Paxton, Riverton, 73-72; Dave Balling, Cody, 70-75; Todd Griffin, Rock Springs, 74-71; 10. (tie) Mark Isakson, Sheridan, 76-70; Taylor Reed, Sheridan, 73-71; 12. (tie) Drew Petrie, Casper, 76-71; Kamrin Allen, Sheridan, 72-75; Aaron Nirider, Riverton, 70-77; Jordan Costello, Pinedale, 76-71; 16. (tie) Quintin Pope, Cheyenne, 76-72; Eric Parish, Laramie, 73-75; Dylan Lym, Evanston, 75-73; 20. (tie) Danny Davis, Gillette, 73-77; Scott Bates, Cheyenne, 75-75; 22. (tie) Austin Hinchey, Casper, 77-74; Kyle Fanning, Cheyenne, 75-76; 24. (tie) Taylor Murtland, Wheatland, 74-78; Morgan Splichai, Rock Springs, 83-69; Cameron Lindell, Sheridan, 75-77; 27. (tie) Brandon Davison, Casper, 78-75; Eddie Fullmer, Lusk, 74-79; Nathan Green, Green River, 79-74; 30. (tie) Roger Sheaffer, Laramie, 81-73; Jacob Letman, Lander, 80-74; 32. (tie) Jim Steever, Douglas, 78-77; Ryan Graham, Buffalo, 76-79; 34. (tie) Thayne Balling, Cody, 78-78; Tof Chapin, Casper, 79-77; 36. (tie) Brock Ehlers, Evanston, 82-75; Jeff Jones, Huntley, 78-79; John Hornbeck, Saratoga, 80-77; 40. (tie) Nick Snyder, Cody, 71-87; Troy May, Big Piney, 79-79; 42. (tie) Rolf Peterson, Laramie, 81-78; Chance Cochran, Riverton, 77-82; Dallas Millin, Wright, 77-82; Joe Hunter, Cheyenne, 82-77; 46. Paul Mavrakis, Sheridan, 84-76; Patrick Manning, Cody, 79-81; Tim Edwards, Riverton, 83-77; Jack Mavrakis, Sheridan, 76-84; Pax Mitchelle, Powell, 82-78; Andy Edwards, Sundance, 82-78; 52. Brian Wornkey, Newcastle, 82-79; 53. (tie) Lee Stewart, Riverton, 79-83; Jonathan Pischei, Laramie, 83-79; Aaron Grosch, Worland, 82-80; 56. (tie) Pat Fernandez, Cheyenne, 80-85; Travis Norris, Jackson, 86-78; 58. (tie) Patrick Pajak, Laramie, 85-80; Todd Van Rensselaer, Douglas, 89-76; 60. (tie) Jerry Carroll, Evanston, 83-83; Robbie Harding, Laramie, 85-81; Connor Nicholas, Laramie, 86-80; 63. (tie) David Sanders, Sheridan, 82-85; Cliff Root, Riverton, 82-85; 65. Doug Grasile, Buffalo, 86-82; Jim Griffin, Casper, 79-89; Tim Fish, Casper, 85-83; 69. (tie) Mike Bohlman, Powell, 87-82; Matt Spiva, Casper, 85-84; 71. Steve Mossbrook, Riverton, 87-83; 72. (tie) Dave Zimmerer, Lingle, 88-83; Roger Eder, Riverton, 89-82; 74. John Keralls, Riverton, 84-88; 75. Collin Hopkins, Riverton, 91-82; 76. Morgan Splichal Jr, Rock Springs, 89-86; 77. Richard Bostwick, Casper, 85-91.
; 78. Christian Rundberg, Laramie, 84-93; 79. (tie) Val Layton, Lander, 94-87; Bryan Bertagnole, Casper, 88-93; 81. Ronn Burr, Buffalo, 88-102; 82. Chad Rose, Buffalo, 109-83.
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