Cancer survivor Dahmen takes 2nd round lead

American Joel Dahmen, playing in his second tournament since

finishing chemotherapy for testicular cancer, shot a 7-under 65

Friday to take the lead after the second round of the Dakota Dunes

Casino Open.

Dahmen, of Clarkston, Wash., was diagnosed in March and had

surgery in May.

”I’m just happy to be playing, I really had no expectations

coming into this week,” said the 23-year-old who was at 12 under

132 for the tournament. ”Making bogeys doesn’t matter as much to

me this year as it did last year and I think it’s (cancer) helped

my perspective on life tremendously.”

Dahmen’s diagnosis came just one year after his brother was

diagnosed with the same ailment and six years after his mother

succumbed to another form of the deadly disease.

”It’s something that has run in the family and when I felt the

bump I knew what it was right away,” said Dahmen who only had to

endure one round of chemotherapy. ”Luckily we caught it quickly

and I’m expected to make a full recovery and I’m feeling pretty

good as it stands.”

Dahmen’s second round began with a bogey on the first hole, and

then he carded eight birdies in a 15-hole stretch to take the

lead.

Dahmen, whose best finish on the Canadian Tour came in Victoria

last season when he tied for seventh, is playing his 12th event on

tour and likes the way the course at Dakota Dunes is set up.

”There are a lot of birdies available out there,” said Dahmen

who has totaled 15 birdies over two rounds. ”I’ve been working on

my chipping and putting after last week and it paid off

today.”

Liam Kendregan of Danville, Calif., shot a 67 and fell one shot

behind Dahmen at 11-under. Kendregan is playing this season on a

medical exemption after sustaining injuries in a car accident last

year.

”Taking the year off put things in perspective and I’m very

much enjoying being out here with the boys, it feels really good,”

the 28-year-old Kendregan said.

Kendregan, who went bogey-free Friday, said he will feel no

pressure playing in the final group on Saturday.

”I’m going to enjoy it, I’ve got two more rounds and I’m going

to see how low I can go,” he said. ”It’s going to be fun

tomorrow.”

Jose Rodriguez shot the best round of the day with a 9-under 63,

two shots off the course record set by Cody Slover last year.

Rodriguez was two shots back of Dahmen and just one behind

Kendregan.

Canadian Isabelle Beisiegel struggled to a 4-over 76. Combined

with her opening 73, she finished seven shots off the cut.