Schultz Holds Slim Lead


JUNCTION CITY, Ore. -- Jason Schultz managed just an even-par 72 on Saturday to maintain his lead through three rounds of the Oregon Classic. Schultz finished the opening 54 holes at 9-under-par 207.

Scott Gutschewski posted a 2-under 70 in the third round to move into a
share of second place at 7-under-par 209. He is joined there by David
McKenzie (71), Paul Gow (72) and David Hearn (72).

Players battled rain and wind that gusted up to 26 mph throughout the round.
Due to the tough conditions, the scoring average shot up to 73.892. More poor
weather is in the forecast for Sunday, which forced officials to push up tee
times with the last group teeing off at 12:40 p.m. (ET).

The 31-year-old Schultz played steady golf out of the gate. He carded four
straight pars before stumbling to a bogey at the par-5 fifth at Shadow
Hills Country Club.

He steadied himself with three pars over his next three holes. Schultz climbed
back to even par for his round with a birdie at the par-5 ninth.

Schultz, whose best career finish on the Nationwide Tour was a tie for sixth
at the Pete Dye West Virginia Classic earlier this year, played the final nine
holes of his round at even par as he parred all nine holes.

'I figured even-par would be a good score,' said Schultz. 'I was all over the
place on the back nine. It was one of those nines where I just hung in there.'

Gutschewski battled through an up-and-down day. He opened with bogeys at three and four, but came back with birdies on Nos. 5 and 6. He poured in his third
birdie at the eighth and got to 7 under with a birdie at the 13th.

He kept flying with a birdie at the 15th, but tripped to a double bogey on the
17th. He managed a birdie at the last to share second place.

'It is not easy out there,' said Gutschewski, who won the 2003 Monterey
Peninsula Classic. 'It is like playing in the Midwest in the spring. It is cold, rainy and windy. I was just hanging in there and staying in it mentally.
I pretty much kept it in play out there.'

McKenzie birdied two of his first four holes. However, he gave those strokes
back with bogeys on 11 and 16. He birdied the par-five 18th for the third
straight round to get to seven-under.

Gow tripped to a bogey at the first, but came right back to birdie the second.
He moved to eight-under with a birdie at the par-five fifth. The two-time
winner on the Nationwide Tour stumbled to bogeys at the 14th and 17th, but
closed with a birdie at the last to share second place.

Hearn bogeyed the third, but atoned for that mistake with an eagle at the
fifth. After a birdie at six, he faltered to a bogey at the seventh. He then
birdied the ninth, but stumbled to a double-bogey at the par-three 12th. After
a bogey at 14, Hearn closed with a birdie on 18 to cap an even-par round.

Jason Gore tied for the best round of the day as he fired a four-under 68. He
shared sixth place at six-under-par 210 with Brent Schwarzrock, Barry
Cheesman, Michael Long and Casey Martin.
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