LOWELL -- It was moving day at the Lowell City Tournament on Saturday, and the man commonly referred to as "the greatest player never to win the thing" made his charge.
Vesper's George Popp has come close to getting his hands on championship hardware before, several times in fact. And once again, the 52-year-old is in prime position after shooting a 3-under 69 at Long Meadow Golf Club.
With a two-round total of 145, he will take a one-shot lead into Wednesday's final round at his home course of Vesper. Defending champion Shawn Scott (146) is right there breathing down Popp's back after firing a 74 on Saturday.
Popp followed up a first-round 76 at Mount Pleasant with a superb display of golf that saw him hit virtually every green in regulation. He has posted the tournament's only round in the 60s thus far. He hopes it all ultimately leads to his breakthorugh victory at The Cities.
"I would say that there is always pressure in this tournament," Popp said. "Whether you're a player that's won eight or 10 times, or you're one of the other players. It's fun to play in front of the home crowds, and that adds a little pressure. But I have to go out and continue to play my game. I've been playing pretty steady. If I can do that and post a good score, we'll see what happens."
"Vesper will most likely not have a number of low scores. If I can go out and shoot 1-under, even, 1-over -- I think the most important thing is to play solidly and give myself some chances at birdie. If I make a few, then that will take the pressure off."
Mike Walker of Nab, Chris Gentle of Mt. Pleasant and 10-time champion Doug Parigian of Long Meadow are three shots back.