Swafford leads Bulldogs who made cut

ATHENS, Ga. -- Hudson Swafford admits he glanced at the leaderboard before playing his final hole Friday, but said that was not the reason he double bogeyed to complete an otherwise solid second round at the Stadion Classic at UGA.

“There’s so much golf to be played, [the chance to tie for the lead] wasn’t really registering,” Swafford said. “I was just kind of looking to see what other guys were doing to be honest with you. I just had a kind of unfortunate finish.”

At 8 under through 17 holes, Swafford was a stroke behind then-leader Luke List before plugging his second shot on 18 in the greenside bunker. He chipped out and three-putted to finish with a 1-under 70 and head into the weekend in a tie for 13th at 6 under.

“It was kind of a bummer,” said Swafford, who trails 36-hole leaders Jim Herman and Billy Horschel by four strokes. “I kind of grinded all day and hung in there and turned an OK round into a pretty good round, really, and then let it slip on the last hole.”

Swafford is first among the three current and former Georgia players who made the cut on their former college course, joined by Paul Claxton (tied for 36th at 3 under after a 71 Friday) and Justin Bolli (also 3 under after a 69 Friday).

The remaining six players with Georgia ties missed the cut: Scott Parel (even par, 69 Friday), Matt McQuillan (even par, 71), defending tournament champion Russell Henley (1 over, 74), Brian Carter (2 over, 72) Richard Scott (3 over, 70) and Nicholas Reach (5 over, 72).

Claxton ranks second all-time on the Nationwide Tour money list -- with $1,647,960 in career winnings, he trails leader Darron Stiles by $18,596 -- and is poised to add to that total this weekend. In fact, Claxton matched his career high by making his eighth consecutive cut.

But he and Bolli are chasing Swafford for top honors among the Bulldogs. Swafford opened with a solid 66 on Thursday and had birdied three out of his last six holes when he reached 18 on Friday. Despite the unfortunate finish, the Nationwide Tour rookie is in position for his best finish of the season.

His previous best this season is a tie for 16th at the TPC Stonebrae Championship before tying for 18th last week at the South Georgia Classic in Valdosta.

“I played really solid the last two days,” Swafford said. “Just the last hole was kind of a bummer. I’m looking forward to the weekend. It’s going to be exciting. I know a bunch of friends and family will be here, so I’m looking forward to it.”