Zorkic Zips into the Lead


Nationwide TourSEASIDE, Calif. -- Zoran Zorkic fired a 4-under 68 Friday to grab a share of the lead through two rounds of the Monterey Peninsula Classic. Zorkic shares the lead with Scott Gutschewski, who shot a 3-under 69, at 7-under-par 137.
Kyle Thompson posted a 2-under 70 and stands alone in third place at 6-under-par 138. John Paul Curley and overnight co-leader Fran Quinn are tied for fourth one stroke further back at minus-5.
Zorkic began his round two strokes behind the leaders at the Seaside Resort & Spa's Bayonet Golf Course. He opened with a birdie on the par-4 third. He later notched birdies at the seventh and ninth to make the turn at minus-6.
He dropped in a birdie at the 10th, but trouble loomed. He carded back-to-back bogeys from the 11th and dropped another shot at the 14th to fall back to 4-under.
He closed out in style however. He birdied the par-3 17th and capped his round with an eagle at the last.
Gutschewski played a steady opening nine. He birdied the second and fifth to move to minus-6. He then rolled off four straight pars.
Around the turn, he birdied the 10th, but stumbled to a bogey on No. 12. He came right back to birdie the very next hole though. He again dropped a shot at the 17th, but recovered to birdie the last for a share of the lead.
'I feel pretty good. you have to keep setting new goals,' said Gutschewski. 'If you let up at all out here, 10 guys will pass you.'
Gutschewski earned a sponsor's exemption to the Omaha Classic back in August. That was his first Nationwide Tour event this season and he used that invite to his advantage. He ran off five straight top-25 finishes and has quickly climbed to 65th on the tour's money list.
'It would mean a lot to win, especially on this golf course,' said Gutschewski, who needs to move into the top-55 on the money list to be invited to the season-ending tour championship. 'This is a quality test of golf. I don't know when you should start thinking about winning and when you shouldn't. I don't think you should dwell on it or let it affect how you play.'
Thompson ran off five birdies through his first 14 holes to climb to minus-9 for the event. That was the lowest score any player has ever reached in the event's four-year history. However, he dropped three shots over his next two holes to fall into third place.
'A course this difficult, it's easy to make bogeys and doubles,' said Thompson. 'Whether it comes late in the round or early in the round, it's just one of those things you have to deal with.'
Zach Johnson, a two-time winner this season, posted a 1-under 71 Friday. He shares sixth place with Ryan Howison and Michael Muehr at 4-under-par 140.
Jimmy Walker, Boo Weekley, Danny Briggs, Stephen Gangluff, Sung Man Lee, Ryuji Imada, Andre Stolz and overnight co-leader D.A. Points are one stroke further back at minus-3.
Roland Thatcher, the defending champion, stumbled to a 1-over 73. He completed two rounds at 1-under-par 143 and is tied for 21st. If he were to win this week, he would become the first Nationwide Tour player to ever win the same event in consecutive years.
The cut line fell at 3-over-par 147 with 70 players advancing to the weekend.

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