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Albany's Skinner tied for PGA Professional National Championship lead

Photo by Associated Press

Photo by Associated Press

FRENCH LICK, Ind. -- Rob Moss shot a 2-under 70 and Albany's Sonny Skinner had a 71 for a share of the lead through two rounds of the PGA Professional National Championship on Monday.

Both are at 3-under 139.

Skinner, the teaching pro at River Pointe Golf Club in Albany, birdied the 18th hole to tie Moss. He was second in 2008 at the PGA Nationals and tied for 29th last year.

"I played from the back of the bus," Skinner said. "I am not a fast player, but I feel good. I like my game plan. I feel I'm very prepared heading into the next two days."

"We came in trying to play four good rounds. I got two good rounds out of the way and have two more to go."

Skinner also raved about the famed Pete Dye course.

"I saw Mr. Dye on the course today, I shook his hand and congratulated him on building this course," said Skinner, the 2008 runner-up who birdied the 18th hole with a highlight reel up and down effort a 1-under-par 71. "He has a great course here."

Bruce Smith, the PGA director of instruction at Brookhaven Country Club in Dallas set a new competitive record on the Dye Course with a 3-under 69. He was tied for second at 2-under 140. He was joined at 140 by defending champion Mike Small and Ryan Benzel.

The final Top 20 will earn spots in the PGA Championship on Aug. 12-15 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.