Rob Moss sizzled through the 6,548-yard Dales Course,

By David Carducci Record-Courier staff writer Published:

Rob Moss sizzled through the 6,548-yard Dales Course, setting a new course record with a 9-under-par 61.

The brilliant, bogey-free round gave Moss an eight-stroke lead over Greg Smith of Toledo with a two-round total of 14-under 126.

"I drove the ball really well, and obviously to shoot a low score like that, you have to putt pretty well," said Moss, a 30-year-old graduate of Kent State University who will try to become only the second player since Aurora Country Club's Gary Trivisonno to have won both the professional and amateur events of the Ohio Open.

Moss made the turn in 31 Tuesday, then birdied the first three holes on the back nine to move to 8 under through 12 holes.

At one point in his career, Moss would have allowed the thought of breaking 60 creep into his mind during such a round.

"I didn't really do that this time," said Moss. "In the past I've had trouble getting ahead of myself. But (Tuesday) I stayed in the present.

"I played well (last month) at the Nike Cleveland Open (tied for 10th) and the Nike Dayton Open (tied for 7th). I don't know if I'm playing better right now. My wedge game is a little sharper, and I'm getting a lot of balls up and down from 45 to 60 feet. Here, you can get a lot of balls that close off the tee. That's made a big difference."

Moss' two-round total of 126 tied the tournament record set by Dennis Miller in 1996 when he won by 10 strokes.

Fifty-eight players made the cut, which fell at 1-over-par (141) for the professionals.

Those surviving the cut included John Molodovan of North Canton (68-67-135), Richard "Boo" Blakeman of Canton (66-70-136), Brian Unk of Cuyahoga Falls (69-67-136), Eric Frishette (74-63-137), Mitch Camp of Aurora (71-67-138), Bill Reilly of Stow (72-67-139), Tony Adcock of North Canton (70-70-140), and Todd Lancaster of Kent (70-71-141)

Kent Roosevelt senior Justin Miller comes into today's final round tied with Coshocton's Corey Patterson for third place among the amateurs, at 2-over 142.

Miller shot 71 on the Dales course, his second consecutive 1-over-par round, and considered himself fortunate to be within five strokes of amateur leader David Oates of Canton (3 under).

"I really didn't play very well," said Miller. "I shot about the same round I shot (Monday on the Hills course). Actually I had the same nine's. I shot 38 on the front both times, and 33 on the back both times."

While Miller may not have brought his "A game" to the course Tuesday, he did manage to birdie two of the toughest par 4's on the Dales course: the 441-yard eighth, and the 463-yard 10th.

"I hit about a 30-foot putt on No. 8," said Miller. "Then I hit the pin with a pitching wedge from around 140 yards out and made a 10 footer on No. 10."

Also making the amateur cut were Stow's Jeff Camp Jr. (72-71-143) and Hartville's Chris Gran (74-71-145).

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