FARMINGTON — With lift, clean and place in effect for the San Juan Open, five players fired rounds of 5-under in Thursday's opening round at the San Juan Country Club, prompting club general manager Randy Kahn to say the winning score on Sunday is "definitely going to be 20-under plus."

Despite perfect playing conditions, scores climbed during Friday's second round.

But players attributed the higher scores not to the course set up but to the fact that the greens had dried out.

"They're fast," Jesse Mueller said of the greens after his round. "You have to be below the hole or it's easy to make bogeys."

Mueller, who finished second at last year's event, sits at 2-under for the tournament after Friday's round of 69 and said his game is there, though he is struggling to score.

Luke Symons tees off on the par-3 18th on Friday during the second round of the San Juan Open at the San Juan Country Club in Farmington.
Luke Symons tees off on the par-3 18th on Friday during the second round of the San Juan Open at the San Juan Country Club in Farmington. (Jesse Hankins/Special to The Daily Times)

"(I'm) not getting up and down and made a couple bogeys where I could possibly make birdies," Mueller said. "It feels like right when I get some momentum, I make a bogey."

Also struggling to maintain momentum during Friday's round was first round co-leader Luke Symons.

Following his 66 on Thursday, Symons, who started on the back nine, struggled to find any consistency in his game Friday.

"It was definitely an up-and-down type of day," Symons said after the second round. "I was just looking at my scorecard, and I had a two, three, four, five, six and seven on my front nine alone."

With his second round winding down, it looked as though Symons would overcome the shaky front nine and finish the day at even par.

After birdieing No. 7 with a 15-foot putt from the fringe, Symons made another clutch putt — a 12-footer with a foot of left-to-right break — to save par on the par-3 eighth.

But Symons, too, gave shots back on the next hole, double-bogeying the par-4 ninth to the finish the round with a 2-over 73.

"I just didn't play consistently enough and hole the putts when I needed to," Symons said. "I feel like I'm playing well; I just need to play consistently over the four rounds. I'll make a few adjustments and hopefully play well tomorrow."

Although the day was filled with ups and downs, birdies were out there.

Nick Killpack, who entered the day at even par, put together a round of 66 to move into contention. And following up his co-leading round of 66 on Thursday, Ryan Hogue carded a 2-under 69 in round two.

Karl Schneider covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648 and kschneider@daily-times.com. Follow him at @karltschneider on Twitter.