At the top of the Golfweek Player of the Year Classic leaderboard, consistency is the key. After two rounds at the Omni Orlando (Florida) Resort at ChampionsGate, Carlos Aranda and Matthew Avril are tied for first in the senior division. Both men opened with 2-over 74 then backed it up with a round of 1-over 73 in Wednesday’s second round.
Aranda and Avril, at 3-over for the tournament, have a one-shot cushion on two chasers, and it’s a packed leaderboard after that. Avril, of Vero Beach, Florida, birdied the par-5 18th hole to find his way to the top of the leaderboard. Notably, Avril won the Florida Azalea Senior in 2023.
Aranda’s two birdies came at the first and eighth holes, and the Springfield, Virginia, native sprinkled in three bogeys, too.
With one round to go, a pair of U.S. Senior Amateur champions are also still in the hunt. Bob Royak, the winner in 2019, and Doug Hanzel, the 2013 winner, are both at 6 over.
Kevin VandenBerg, Golfweek’s Senior Player of the Year for 2023, is at 9 over.
The Super Senior division features a little more separation. First-round leader Marcus Beck, who also took Golfweek Player of the Year honors for 2023 in his division, backed up from a 73 to a 78 on Wednesday, and Steve Sharpe took advantage with a round of 1-under 71. At 1 over total, Sharpe, of Greensboro, North Carolina, now has a six-shot lead on Beck and Doug Harris.
Sharpe was one of only two players in all four divisions who went under par on Wednesday.
Bev Hargraves of Little Rock, Arkansas, remains in a tie for the top spot in the Legends division, but now it’s Jeffrey Knox who shares the spot. Both men are at 5 over, while Peter Van Ingen, the other first-round co-leader, dropped a spot to 6 over.
The first-round leader in the Super Legend division, Bill Engel of St. Augustine, Florida, maintained his solo lead and at 7 over, now has a two-shot cushion on Frank Costanzo and John Osborne.