Hutchison ties course record at Dayton |

Hutchison ties course record at Dayton

Larry Windson
For the Appeal
Randall Hutchison of Orlando, Fla. tees off on the 422 yard, par-4 first tee at Dayton Valley Golf Club Thursday morning .
Brad Coman | Nevada Appeal

DAYTON — Randall Hutchison, Orlando, Fla., tied the course record Thursday with a 10-under par 62 to take a two-stroke lead with a 17-under 199 total after 54-holes of Tour Qualifying at Dayton Valley Golf Club. Second round leader Nick Delio, Valencia, Calif., carded a 6-under 66 for second with a 15-under 201 total.

With ideal weather and course conditions, low scores were abundant as 49 players in the field broke par in the third round.

Ben Geyer, Arbuckle, Calif., fired a 9-under 63 and is tied for third at 12-under 204 with Tyler Weworski, Carlsbad, Calif., who shot 7-under 65 on the day and J.R. Myers, Saratoga, Calif., who had a 3-under 69.

Chris Evans, Palm Desert, Calif., also carded a 63 to leap up the leaderboard by 25 positions from a tie for 33rd to a tie for eighth. Reno-born Matt Marshall, Carlton, Ore., shot 8-under 64 to join Evans, Nick Killpack, St. George, Utah and Martin Trainer, Palo Alto, Calif. tied for eighth at 9-under 207.

First round leader Chris Williams, Moscow, Idaho, and Erick Justesen, San Jose, Calif., both shot 4-under 68 and are tied for sixth at 10-under 206.

Hutchison started his round with seven consecutive threes on the scorecard en route to a front nine 7-under 29. He birdied both par-5s on the back nine and threw in a birdie at the par-3 16th for his record-tying 62.

“Honestly days like today are pretty easy,” said the elated 28-year old former Michigan State golf star. “I got on a good roll, hit every green in regulation and it all just fell into place.”

Hutchison made it to the finals of q-school and played on the Tour in 2013 and retained his card for the 2014 season.

“I didn’t have a good year and lost my card and that’s how I got back in this thing again and ended-up playing here,” he said.

Dayton Valley was far from where he wanted to play the first stage of qualifying. Players list the first stage qualifying sites on their entry form in the order they would like to play and Dayton was the 10th choice out of 11 sites Hutchison listed.

“Right now I’m really glad I ended up playing here, it’s a very pleasant surprise,” he said. “These are some of the best greens I have ever played on and I am relieved and relaxed going into tomorrow knowing that I can put it on cruise control pretty much all day.”

Evans was in one of the first groups to finish and his 9-under 63 heralded the barrage of low scores that followed.

“I was finally able to roll the rock a little better today and it was nice,” said the 27-year old former Washington Huskie golfer. “I didn’t strike the ball well the first two days but I found something that really worked well today and I’m staying with it.”

Geyer came into Dayton fresh off playing in the Open in Napa, Calif., that opened the 2015-16 PGA Tour season. After an opening round 69 at Dayton, he was disappointed with an even par 72 on Wednesday.

“I threw away some shots yesterday struggling with my swing and decided that I just gotta go with what I got and make it work,” said the 23-year old two-time Northern California Golf Association Player of the Year who played on the 2014 Tour.

“Today I hit every green in regulation, made the putts I was supposed to make,” he said. “With the weather and all it was one of those kind of days you play golf for.”

Playing in his sixth Dayton q-school, Marshall birdied the first five holes to shoot 7-under 29 on the front nine. He bogeyed both par-5s on the back nine for his only blemishes to finish at 8-under. Otherwise he could have joined or exceeded Hutchison in course record fashion.

“I made a long putt for birdie on No. 9 and birdied 10 to get to 8-under and I started to think this could be something special,” he said. “Then I promptly hit in the water off the tee on 11 and 3-putted 18.

“But coming in this year I knew my game was really good and today it all came together. I did what I wanted to do today and just need to stay focused tomorrow to move on.”

Hutchison tied the course record set by Jason Allen and Mike Pearson during First Stage PGA Tour Qualifying at Dayton Valley in 2003.

If the tournament ended today, the cut line for qualifying would be at 4-under par, with 26 players theoretically advancing as the 24 low scores and ties as set by the PGA Tour. According to PGA scoring official Cameron MacGregor the final number to advance to the second stage of qualifying will be “5-under with a large number of ties for the last spot and a high number of qualifiers.”