Assistant Sports Editor
KILLINGTON -- There was no denying Casey Komline looked at ease, comfortable with the world during the second round of the Vermont Amateur on Wednesday.
"I was," he said. "It was fun."
The result was a tournament-best round of 67, vaulting Komline to a share of the 36-hole lead at 3-under par and the final pairing today at Green Mountain National Golf Course with first-round leader Mike Stackus.
Three more players are hot on their heels at 1-under, including Evan Russell, local hopeful Garren Poirier, and Devin Komline, Casey's older brother and the two-time defending champion.
Two golfers sit at even-par, while eighth place is at a distant 4-over.
The competiton's newest leader, Casey Komline, was two shots off the pace at the start of the day. His first-round 72 included a triple bogey followed by an eagle -- but Day 2 was a steady charge.
"I don't think I missed a tee shot," Casey Komline said. "I hit my irons unbelievable today, I played much smarter."
The Appalachian State junior carded three birdies a side Wednesday. At the par-5 15th hole, he had a tap-in after catching the edge of the cup with his 12-foot eagle bid.
He improved to 5-under on the day after a drive of more than 330 yards on the downhill, par-4 16th hole that set up a short pitch shot and birdie.
"Whenever I had driver in my hands I knew it was going down the middle, which is always a good feeling," he said.
Stackus held down his pole position Wednesday with a 2-under 69. He didn't record eight birdies like the first round, but racked up greens in regulation and drained momentum-saving par putts when he needed to.
"The two holes I hit bad shots I hit a bad shot on 11 and a bad shot on 18 and they cost me," Stackus said. "Those were my two bogeys on the day and my two worst swings."
The first-round co-leader sank a downhill 25-footer for par on the ninth hole to turn at 2-under and poured in a 12-foot comebacker to get up-and-down at the par-3 17th.
A missed 3-footer at 18 took some of the luster off the smooth set-up day.
"A 68 is right there," Stackus said.
Devin Komline finished his round birdie, bogey, birdie to post a 69 as well and keep up with Stackus, his playing partner for the first two days. He is paired with Evan Russell (72-69-141) on the final day for the third straight year. The last two produced winner's trophies.
The 31-year-old Poirier had one of the hottest nines of the tournament, transitioning to the back side after a 4-under 32.
"It was pretty good it should've been lower," Poirier said. "I probably missed a 6-footer on one, an 8-footer on two, missed like a 15-footer on three."
The Green Mountain National member was cruising toward a 66 before swallowing a double bogey at the last. His 68 has him squarely in the hunt for Thursday's 36 holes.
"I hit it well today, I can't complain about the way I played today -- I just played 18 kind of [poorly]," Poirier said.
After the five under-par golfers, Jona Scott (71-71-142) and Jimmy Levins (74-68-142) are tied for sixth at even-par.
Bennington's Thomas Sennett (87-72-159) improved his score by 15 shots from the first round to make the cut on the number.
It was the second-largest turnaround of any competitor and the most drastic to earn a spot in the finale Thursday.