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May 28—The defending champion found the groove again on the front nine he torched to claim last year’s title.

As a result, Sam Fidone shot into the second-round lead of the All-Pro Tour’s Health and Wellness Real Okie Championship on Thursday at Muskogee Golf Club.

Fidone shot a 30 on the front with birdies at 1, 2 and 4, another at 8 and an eagle on 9. Two more birdies at 10 and 11 put him at 8-under but he parred out from that point, leaving Bob Dickson’s course record 59 safe for another day.

His 62 matched his final-round score to win a year ago and has him at 11-under 129 at the halfway point. The Lufkin, Texas golfer shot 28 on the front nine in last year’s final round with birdies on 1 through 4, then 7 and 8 and another eagle on 9.

He was 1-under in the opening round Wednesday.

Three shots back of Fidone is Ryan Baca of Sugar Land, Texas, who like the frontrunner mounted a second-round charge, shooting a 63. He birdied 3-6 and 9 for a 31 on 1-9. He’s tied with Bobby Hudson of Dallas, who carded consecutive 66s.

Brandon McIver, who won the APT event last week in Fort Smith, Ark., is one of a group at 7-under after shooting a 67.

First-round co-leader Myles Creighton, who opened with a 64, shot a 69 and is four back along with McIver, Grant Schroeder of Montgomery, Texas, and Carson Roberts of Conway, Ark. Grant Bennett of Lewisville, Texas, Hayden Wood of Edmond and Leandro Marelli of Miami Beach, Fla. are at 6-under along with the lone contender still on the course when lightning then rain brought to a halt the second round at 5:15 p.m., that being Justin Warren of Picton, Ariz.

Creighton shared the lead after 18 with Andreas Holvorsen, who battled a torn fingernail and struggled to a 3-over 73. The Norwegian is at 3-under 137, three strokes into safe territory from the projected cut line at par.

That would also send home Cory Churchman, the 2019 champion, who shot a 71 and is even. That’s the same as Case Cochran, whose father Russ is competing at Southern Hills in Tulsa in the Senior PGA Championship. Sam Triplett, son of Kirk Triplett, is at 3-over. The elder Triplett is also up the Turnpike at the senior major.

Another golfer with notable lineage, Sean Jacklin, the son of 1969 British Open and 1970 U.S. Open champion Tony Jacklin, is at 2-under after a 68 on Thursday.