Camilo Benedetti, right, chats with his caddie on the driving range at River Run Country Club. Benedetti is tied for second entering the third round of the Chiquita Classic. (Aaron Burns/Herald Weekly photo)
DAVIDSON – Greg Owen found himself perched atop the leaderboard at the Web.com Tour's Chiquita Classic at River Run Country Club Friday evening.
Owen's second-round 66 vaulted the Englishman into the lead with an eight-under score for the tournament.
A quartet of players – Camilo Benedetti, Andrew Svoboda, Will MacKenzie and Kris Blanks – trail Owen by just one shot, entering the third round.
The even-par cut led several big-name players, including 2008 Masters champion Trevor Immelman (one over par) and seven-time Web.com Tour winner Jason Gore (two over), to miss their shot at a $180,000 winner's purse.
Players faced challenging conditions if they missed the fairway.
Former Charlotte resident Fernando Mechereffe, who missed the cut by three strokes, complimented the course's unforgiving nature.
"The greens are rolling faster. It's just a tougher test," Mechereffe said, in comparison to his previous rounds on the course.
"You don't want to be in the rough going into these greens. The rough is pretty brutal out here, so you just have to hit a lot of fairways."
"The greens here are pure surface," he said. "Very undulating. Coming onto the rough from these greens presents some serious challenges."
Live coverage of the Chiquita Classic continues at 1:30 p.m. Saturday on the Golf Channel. Visit www.pgatour.com/webcom for a live leaderboard.