Skinner optimistic in Ga. Open

Photo by Daniel Kay

Photo by Daniel Kay

SAVANNAH -- Sunny skies are ahead.

At least that's the way Sonny Skinner is looking at his golf game these days. Skinner still has a chance to make a move at the 58th annual Georgia Open, where he sits in 17th place after the first two days at the Club of Savannah Harbor.

Skinner, the teaching pro at the River Pointe Golf Club in Albany, is 11 shots behind the leader, Samuel Del Val of Athens, who shot a 6-under 66 on Friday to go 13-under. But Skinner might be a lot closer if not for a bad patch from 15 through 18.

He was 3-under on the first day and then had bogeys on three of the last four holes to finish at an even 72, and he was 4-under on Friday before being saddled with two bogeys on the final three holes to finish the round at 70.

"I was playing pretty steady until the end,'' Skinner said. "Then I just ran out of steam, I guess. It's as hot here as it is back home. Maybe I need a few more snacks in my bag.''

Skinner said he took a couple of weeks off before this tournament, but hopes to be sharp next week when he enters the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

Skinner qualified for the PGA Championships by finishing second in the PGA Professional Championship in Indiana in June.

Skinner also finished second at the Players Championship at Berkeley Hills Country Club in early July, at 7-under par, just one stroke behind winner Chris Nicol.

"I'm trying to get ready for next week,'' Skinner said. "I took two weeks off and am trying to get into the swing of things. I'm going to go there (PGA Championship) and try not to embarrass myself,'' he joked.