The frustration continued for the local golfers in the Press Thornton Future Masters.
Perhaps nobody was shaking his head more than defending overall champion Hal Dove.
A day after shooting a 2-over-par 72, the Dothan native and Auburn University signee struggled at 9-over on Friday during second round play and failed to make the cut.
Dove was the only local competitor to tee off after lunch. Those who came in before him had problems as well, though Thomas Ponder shot a 1-over par 71 for a two-day 140 – rallying after making four bogeys on his first five holes.
For Dove, making the turn at 4-over made getting off the deck difficult. He had a bogey on No. 2, double-bogey on No. 6 and a bogey on No. 8.
Things didn’t get any better on the back nine.
“Once you got to that point, it’s hard to really fight back,” Dove said. “I did everything I knew I could. It just got to a point where it was hard to trust a lot of shots, which is kind of a mental error too by me, but it happens. Bad day at a bad time.”
With it being his last Future Masters on his home course of the Dothan Country Club, Dove admitted to pressing a little bit.
“I’d say playing in this – how much it means to me – amplified it a little more today,” Dove said of the pressure. “I probably would have been able to pull it together a little easier if it had been another tournament.”
Dove said his swing was real loose during the past two days.
“Before today started, I knew this wasn’t going to be a tournament where I was going to light it up,” Dove said. “It was just one of those weeks where the ball striking – nothing was really matching.”
Houston Academy products Jake McDonald and Matthew Streitman each shot a second round 3-over 73. Rehobeth golfer Brantley Scott came in at 74 and Griffin McCrary of Troy came in at 77.
Former Providence Christian golfer and Troy signee Dax Weed had a tough day at 78, as did Houston Academy Jase Walker, who also shot 78 but did improve six strokes from an opening-round 84.
Emmett Lee of HA, who shot an even-par 70 on Thursday, had a rough time of it with a 79 for his second round.
A trio of locals made the cut, which was at 148: Ponder (140), Scott (147) and McDonald (148).
Ponder, who is tied with four others in 13th, got off to a rocky start with a bogey to open the round, followed by a birdie and then three straight bogeys.
“I just couldn’t get my tee ball working,” Ponder said. “I had a careless mistake on No. 3 and three-putted. On 4, I drew up too far in the left in water hazard and didn’t get up and down and made bogey.”
After a birdie on 9 put Ponder at 2-over at the turn, he birdied 10 and 12 to pull back even.
“Then I hit another slump,” Ponder said. “I missed a three-footer on 16 for par, but then I parred out.”
Ponder had a great save on 18 for par after hitting into the left rough on his tee shot.
“I didn’t really feel like I could hit it as far with the wind in my face, but I just hit it really good,” Ponder said. “It went a little left of the (fairway) bunker and I was up against some of the shrubbery.”
After punching out back into the fairway, Ponder hit a gap wedge for perhaps his best shot of the day.
“I hit a really nice shot up there from about 140 yards to about 2 feet,” Ponder said.
Ponder said the course is playing really tough – especially the fast greens.
“It just gets you frustrated, because you try to play for the bounce and the roll out and then it goes even further by it (pin),” Ponder said. “It’s one of those things to where it’s so dry, it’s kind of hit or miss on whether it’s going to stop or not.”
Scott was thankful to come in at 74 after having troubles throughout the day. He shot an opening-round 73.
“That’s definitely my best tournament scrambling I’ve ever had,” Scott said of Friday’s round. “I think I was in six bunkers on the back. I mean, I shot 1-over on the back and I hit in the bunker on 10, 11, 12, 14 and I was just outside of the bunker on 18.
“The greens are firm, the fairways are firm, and when you don’t hit them, or when you have them going just a little right, it’s just going to hit and run.
“I got up and down – I putted pretty good – but didn’t have any birdies. I hit six or seven fairways. I just wasn’t hitting the ball well, but my short game was great.
“I wasn’t really frustrated. I tried to stay in the moment, but it’s just so hard when you’re not hitting fairways and you’re struggling out there. That’s golf.”
Streitman, who improved by three strokes in the second round and just missed the cut by a stroke, got off to a strong start and was at 2-under for the round at the turn. Starting on the back nine, he had birdies on holes 10, 12 and 15 before a bogey on 18 started a downhill slide.
“So I turned at 2-under and on No. 2, my drive was pretty much left-center and it was downwind. I landed on the cart path and then it hops all the way into the water,” Streitman said. "That was probably my best drive of the day and it cost me two shots there and I ended up making double-bogey.
“I was still struggling the next few holes and got up to 4-over on my round and I got up to No. 6 and kind of had to regroup because I knew I was going to be close to the cutline. I gave myself (birdie) looks on 7, 8 and 9 – I was able to make one on eight, so I shot 3-over. Just missed a (birdie) putt on nine.”