By CHIP CIRILLO
There’s a big crowd at the top of the leaderboard.
Ryan Brehm, Chase Seiffert and Scottie Scheffler were all tied for first at the halfway point of the Nashville Golf Open on Friday.
All three golfers were 9-under-par at 135 after 36 holes at the Nashville Golf and Athletic Club in Brentwood in the Web.com Tour event benefitting the Snedeker Foundation.
Brehm shot a 7-under 65 to earn a share of the lead.
The former Michigan State golfer was out of the tour’s top 100 points standings last week, but could vault into the top 25 with a good showing this weekend.
“To be honest, I spent the last couple of years worrying about that stuff and it just doesn’t do you any good,” Brehm said. “Good golf has to take care of itself. All that other stuff is beyond my control.”
Brehm, 33, tied for ninth at the Dormie Network Classic at Briggs Ranch last week. He had a share of the lead for the first time since last year’s Knoxville Open.
“Well, anytime you get in the mix it really helps,” Brehm said. “You start to feel some nerves that I haven’t felt in a long time. When you’re out there, you just try to build on what you’re doing week to week.”
Brehm carded eight birdies and one bogey.
Former Vanderbilt star Theo Humphrey and former Lipscomb University/Academy standout Dawson Armstrong both missed the cut.
Humphrey shot a 4-over 76 to finish at 7-over 151. Armstrong is 5 over with two holes left after darkness suspended his round. He will finish Saturday along with five other golfers.
Scheffler shot a 5-under 67 with seven birdies and two bogeys. He has five top 10 finishes this season.
“My game feels like it’s coming around,” Scheffler said. “I’m starting to peak now. Hopefully, I can capitalize on that this week. I think this golf course is really challenging in some spots, some of the greens are really tough and you’ve got to stay patient. That’s been important for me the last couple days.”
The former Texas golfer finished strong with birdies on four of his last six holes.
“I just made some good swings,” Scheffler said. “There’s some reachable par-5s and I was able to get it in play and have some nice up-and-downs around the green. I made some good putts inside of 10 feet. I really didn’t do anything too special, I just hit a couple good shots and made a good putts.”
Seiffert shot a 5-under 67 to share the second-round lead. The former Florida State golfer birdied five of his first eight holes before finishing with 10 straight pars.
“I really liked that (first) nine,” Seiffert said. “That really looks good to my eye. You’ve got three reachable par 5s, which helps. I made some good putts to open the round and then started hitting it really close.”
Chris Baker and Mark Hubbard were tied for fourth at 8-under 136 after two rounds.
Hubbard shot a 6-under 66, including a hole in one on the par 153-yard 14th hole.
“It was a back-left pin,” Hubbard said. “We just had a really good number. It was a perfect 9-iron. Wind was kind of off the left so I could just hit my normal draw and pulled it in there. We couldn’t really see it land, but I knew it was good when I hit it and my friend, Sebastian, was calling for it to go in while it was in the air.”
It was his eighth career ace.
Derek Ernst also made a hole in one on the 171-yard sixth hole.
It was the first time there have been two aces during the same round of a Web.com Tour event since 2017.
It was Ernst’s 15th career ace. He shot a 1-under 71 for a two-round total of 146.
“Just playing a lot of golf,” Ernst said about his high number of aces. “I mean, jeez, I’ve been playing golf for, what, 19, 20 years. Times that by how many par-3s I’ve played it’s probably not that good a percentage.”
Ernst said there is a Champions Tour golfer who has 20-something aces.
The hole in one didn’t ease the pain of missing the cut, which was top 60 and ties.
“Who cares about hole in ones if you don’t make the cut,” Ernst said.
There have been five hole in ones on the tour this season.
Baker shot a 5-under 67 with seven birdies and two bogeys.
“Yea, played great,” Baker said. “Made some putts, hit it great at times, hit it not the best at times, but that’s golf. You can play some days and you think you’d score great and you don’t get anything out of it and then you have days like today where you played OK and you got a lot out of it.”
He sank a 37-foot putt for birdie on 8. Baker cared seven birdies and two bogeys.
Baker, 33, enjoys the 7,600-yard course.
“You have to be really precise on a lot of shots and you have to know where not to hit it on some shots,” Baker said. “Fortunately, I’ve been able to hit it where I need to hit it. It’s a fun course, it’s got some tricky shots to it.”
Baker tied for seventh at two Web.com Tour events earlier in the season.
First-round leader Robby Shelton shot a 1-over par 73 in the second round, dropping him into a sixth-place tie with Matthew NeSmith, Horacio Leon, Brandon Matthews and Andy Zhang, who were logjammed at 7-under 137.
Photos from Web.Com Tour.