Gutschewski Right on the Mark

By Sports NetworkOctober 2, 2004, 4:00 pm
04 Mark Christopher Charity Classic RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. -- Scott Gutschewski posted a 2-under 69 in windy conditions Saturday to move into the lead through three rounds of the Mark Christopher Charity Classic. Gutschewski stands at 10-under-par 203.
 
Zoran Zorkic made the cut by one stroke and went out early Saturday. He posted a 6-under 65 before the winds blew in to move to 8-under-par 205. He shares second place with Matthew Jones (68), Darron Stiles (68), Robin Byrd (73) and Bubba Watson (75).
 
The later players faced wind that blew steadily at 15 mph and gusted higher than that.
 
'It's blowing pretty good and it's drying the course out,' said Gutschewski. 'The fairways have some tilt to them and a lot of tee shots are blind. You can see what's out there, but you can't really see the fairway and that makes it tough to commit to a line when it's calm, let alone when it's windy.'
 
Gutschewski, who turned 28-years-old yesterday, playing in the third-to-last group of the day was steady throughout his round. He battled to six straight pars to begin his round.
 
The 2002 Monterey Peninsula Classic winner then dropped in a birdie at the seventh to get to 9 under. Gutschewski parred the next three holes around the turn.
 
Gutschewski, a University of Nebraska graduate, birdied the par-5 11th to get to 10 under. He managed seven straight pars to end his round and post a bogey-free round on a blustery day at Empire Lakes Golf Club.
 
'I gave myself a lot of chances,' Gutschewski said. 'Nothing super close, but a bunch in that 15- to 25-foot range. I had a lot of good looks at it, but just couldn't get any to fall in.'
 
Zorkic picked up four birdies on the front nine and moved to 7 under overall with a birdie at the 10th. He stumbled to back-to-back bogeys from the 11th, but responded with three straight birdies from the 14th. Zorkic faltered to a bogey on No. 17, but closed with a birdie at the last to grab a share of second place.
 
Watson, who held the lead after round two, struggled badly through the middle of his round. He opened with a bogey at the first, but responded with birdies at four and five.
 
Around the turn, Watson struggled to bogeys at Nos. 8, 9 and 10, before a double-bogey at the 11th dropped him to minus-8. He dropped another stroke at the 17th, but finished with a birdie on 18.
 
Byrd played the front nine at even par with two birdies and two bogeys. He stumbled to two more bogeys on the back nine to slide back to 8 under.
 
Stiles drained three birdies over a four-hole stretch from the third. He posted two bogeys and two birdies over his final eight holes to share second.
 
Jones dropped in a birdie at the second, then made consecutive birdies from the fourth to climb to 8 under. After a bogey at six, Jones carded three more birdies to get to minus-10. However, he dropped shots at 17 and 18 to fall back to a share of second.
 
Jason Gore made the cut on the number, minus-1, then carded a 6-under 65 to move to 7-under-par 206. He shares seventh place with Troy Matteson (66), Chris Tidland (66), Kevin Durkin (68), Kyle Kovacs (72) and Scott Dunlap (72).
 
The weather took its toll on Kevin Stadler. The two-time winner this season entered the round in a tie for eighth, but struggled to a 10-over 81, that dropped him into a share of last place.
 
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