Cayman Ratliff jumps to the top of the leaderboard at the 64th Ridgefields Invitational

Pat Kenney • Jul 20, 2013 at 5:13 PM

KINGSPORT — There was plenty of movement on the leaderboard during the second round of the 64th Ridgefields Invitational on Saturday.

In the Senior Championship, defending champion Tony Green vaulted up the board. Tied for 12th after an opening round 78, Green blistered the Ridgefields layout for a 9-under-par 63 on Saturday to move into a tie for third with Rick Hudson at 141.

First round Senior leader Bill Argabrite moved right along with Green, shooting an 8-under 64 to tighten his grip on the lead. His two-round total of 132 leaves him with an 8-shot advantage on second place Mike Poe (140).

Cayman Ratliff shot a 67 in his second round to jump from third to first in the Championship flight. Ratliff stands at 7-under 137, two strokes ahead of first-round leader Carlson Cox who shot a second round 73 and has a two-day total of 139.

Bill Hardin is alone in third at 140 (75-67).

Green had trouble with the heat in Friday’s opening round. But Saturday he cooled down and got fired up.

After shooting a 2-under 34 on the front nine, Green eagled both par-5s on the back on the way to a stunning 29 coming home.

“It was better to have my game be hot than for me to be hot,” joked Green. “I got a little dehydrated Friday and so today I drank a lot more water.”

Argabrite, playing in the final Senior group of the day, left little doubt that he was in control. His 64 was more than enough of an answer to Green’s 63.

“I had a couple of good up and down’s today,” said Argabrite. “And overall I played very well.

“But you never have a big enough lead when Tony (Green) is in the field,” added Argabrite. “I’ll have to play well again tomorrow.”

Ratliff, who won the Tennessee State Junior Amateur earlier this month, was 2-over par after his first three holes and needed to get things going.

He righted the ship with a couple of quick birdies then went on a hot streak with birdies at 9, 10, 11 and 12. Two more birdies coming in set things straight and Ratliff found himself atop the leaderboard.

“This is my seventh straight under par round in tournament play,” said Ratliff. “I’m feeling good about my game right now.

“Tomorrow I just have to eliminate any mistakes and put together plenty of pars and throw in some birdies,” added Ratliff.

Cox, who drove straight from Northern Virginia after being eliminated from the USGA Public Links on Thursday, finally hit a bit of a wall on Saturday.

“It’s been a long, long week,” said Cox. “I couldn’t get it in the fairway off the tee, couldn’t hit greens and didn’t make any putts.

“It was a round where I just wanted to find a way to get it in the hole and get to the house,” added Cox. “I’m extremely drained, but I still think I’ve got something left in the tank. We’ll see what happens on Sunday.”

The Senior Championship flight begins play at 10:30 this morning followed by the Championship flight at 11:30. The final group of the Championship flight is set to tee off at 12:50 p.m.

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