Strickland, from Mukilteo, and Williams from Moscow, Id., have both posted two rounds of 67 on the Eagles Pride Course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and, on eight-under 134, hold a five-stroke lead over third-placed Sean McMullen heading into tomorrow's third round.
“I was sticking my approach shots all day long,” said Strickland who played four times for the Vikings last season, averaging 74.8. “But I couldn’t make a putt longer than eight feet. My gameplan over the next two days is to work on my putting; then I’ve got a shot at this.”
Strickland's WWU teammate Nick Varelia, named the 2011-12 GNAC Player of the Year, is in sixth place on level-par after rounds of 72 and 70.
Viking senior Dylan Goodwin is a shot further back and tied for seventh. Pro Golf Discount's Kevin Stray who opened with a two-under 69 dropped into a tie for 11th today with a second-round 76. Western's Sandy Vaughan is T17 on five-over 147, Jake Webb is T32 on 149, Jack Kelly is a shot further back and tied for 36th, and Lynden's Willy Scholten is T51 on 155.
James Hiester, Bradley Hunt, and Steven Rose missed the cut which fell at 15-over 157.
Luke Bennett, the Director of Instruction at Lake Padden, shot a one-under-par 71 in today's second round of the Oregon Open Invitational at the Broken Top Club in Bend, Ore. On one-over 145 through 36 holes, the former Viking is tied for 25th and eight shots behind the leader Corey Prugh, an assistant at Manito GC in Spokane, who added a 69 to his opening 68.
Matt Cowell, also on the teaching staff at Lake Padden, is a shot behind Bennett after posting 71, 75.
Jessi Gebhardt has had a tough time on the Symetra Tour the last couple of weeks, tieing for 42nd at the My Marsh Classic in Fishers, Ind., in the first week of June, and missing the cut at the Ladies Titan Tire Challenge in Marion, Iowa. last week. Tomorrow, she tees it up in the Tate & Lyle Players Championship at Hickory Point GC in Decatur, Ill.
Chris Killmer made a decent start to the Canadian Tour season at the weekend posting a one-over-par total of 281 to finish tied for 35th in the Times Colonist Open at Uplands GC in Victoria, BC.