Gutschewski in Control

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Nationwide TourSEASIDE, Calif. -- Scott Gutschewski fired a 5-under 67 on Saturday to take a four-stroke lead after three rounds of the Monterey Peninsula Classic.
 
His 54-hole total of 12-under-par 204 shatters the previous record of 7-under-par 209. Tom Carter set the original 54-hole mark in 2001 and was matched last year by Roland Thatcher.
 
Kyle Thompson had reached 9-under on Friday. At the time, that was the lowest score any player had ever reached at this event. Gutschewski, meanwhile, went screaming past that mark with seven birdies and two bogeys in his round at the Seaside Resort & Spa's Bayonet Golf Course.
 
Joe Ogilvie, a two-time winner this season, and Rich Barcelo each posted course-record tying rounds of 6-under 66 to move into a tie for second place. They stand at 8-under-par 208. Danny Briggs stands alone in fourth place at 6-under-par 210.
 
Gutschewski began the day tied for the lead with Zoran Zorkic. Gutschewski took command quickly with a scrambling birdie at the first and another birdie at the fourth, both par-5s. However, he dropped a stroke at the par-3 sixth. He came right back to birdie the next hole.
 
He headed to the back nine at minus-9. Around the turn, he birdied the par-5 10th to become the first player to reach double figures under par in the event's four-year history.
 
He fell back to 9-under when he bogeyed the 12th. Gutschewski responded down the stretch to pull away from the field. He sank back-to-back birdies from the 15th and closed with a birdie at the last to extend his advantage to four shots.
 
'I don't think I am doing anything ridiculous or pushing the limit as far as being too aggressive,' said Gutschewski. 'You can't hit it out-of-bounds or in the water. I watched the leaderboard and figured it was a good opportunity to stretch it out.'
 
Gutschewski first teed it up at the Omaha Classic on a sponsor's exemption in early August. Starting there, he ran off five straight top-25 finishes that helped him stay eligible to play the following week. Since then, he has climbed to 65th on the tour's money list and needs to move into the top-55 to be invited to the season-ending Tour Championship.
 
Ogilvie, who needs one more win this season to gain the Battlefield promotion to the PGA Tour, birdied three of his first four holes. However, his lone non- birdie in that stretch was a bogey at the second. He later birdied the sixth and had three more birdies on the back to move into a tie for second place.
 
'If there was ever a time you could shoot low at this place, today was the one,' said Ogilvie, who won the season-opening Jacob's Creek Open and later won The Reese's Cup Classic.
 
Barcelo birdied three consecutive holes from the second to move to 5-under. He then posted four birdies in a five-hole stretch from the eighth to get to 9-under. Down the stretch, he carded six pars and a bogey to share second place.
 
'It was a good combination of ball striking and good putting,' said Barcelo. 'After 11 holes, it certainly doesn't get easier out there. I had a few opportunities but I'm not going to complain about the putts I missed. I made my share, too.'
 
Zorkic, who was tied for the lead entering the round, stumbled to a 2-over 74. He shares fifth place at 5-under-par 211 with John Paul Curley, Fran Quinn and Charles Raulerson. Zach Johnson, another two-time winner this season, and Wes Short are one stroke further back at minus-4.
 
Related Links:
  • Monterey Peninsula Classic Leaderboard
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  • Full Coverage - Monterey Peninsula Classic