Martin Flores leads Tour Finals event

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Martin Flores (Sam Greenwood/ Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Martin Flores shot a 1-under 70 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Tour Finals’ Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship.

Flores, tied for the first-round lead after a 67, had three birdies and two bogeys – all on the back nine – to reach 5-under 137 on Ohio State’s difficult Scarlet Course. The 33-year-old Texan has played the PGA Tour five of the last six seasons.

“I try to do a good job of keeping a good attitude,” Flores said. “Sometimes it’s a struggle, but this game is tough sometimes. … Everybody has a battle within themselves of some kind when they play. It’s overcoming that battle and going out there and executing golf shots.”

The tournament is the third of four events in the series for the top 75 players from the Tour money list, Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings and non-members who earned enough money to have placed in the top 200 had they been eligible to receive points.

The top 25 players on regular-season money list earned PGA Tour cards. They are competing against each other for PGA Tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals. The other players are fighting for another 25 cards based on series earnings.

Flores was 156th in the FedEx Cup and has made $2,900 in the series.

“Every year, if you don’t go out and prove yourself, you’re going to get beat up a little bit,” Flores said. “Sometimes you take a step back to take a couple of leaps forward.”

Sam Saunders, Arnold Palmer’s grandson, was tied for second with Roberto Castro, Luke List and Australia’s Rhein Gibson. List had a 67, and Saunders, Castro and Gibson shot 68.

“I actually find tougher courses better for me,” Gibson said. “I like to grind when par is a good score.”

Saunders was 137th in the FedEx Cup and is tied for ninth on the series money list at $44,000 after one start, a tie for fourth in the opener in Indiana. Castro was 188th in the FedEx Cup and is tied for 11th at $30,118. Gibson was 33rd on the Tour money list and has made $10,800 in the series. List was 64th on the Tour money list and missed the cuts in the first two series events.

Last year, Eric Axley took the 25th card with $36,312. In 2013, Bobby Gates was 25th at $33,650.

Sweden’s Henrik Norlander won the pener in Indiana, and Chez Reavie took the second event last week in North Carolina. Norlander was tied for 11th at 2 under after a 71, and Reavie was another stroke back after a 72.