A clear, sunny, nearly windless day led to a flurry of low scores at the 2013 Frys.com Open at CordeValle Golf club in San Martin today, including a course-record-tying 62 by the extravagantly-mustachioed Andres Gonzalez. Other notable low scores included a 63 by long hitter Robert Garrigus and a 64 by the 36-hole tournament leader Brooks Koepka.
Of the players in the field with Northern California connections, Sacramento’s Spencer Levin was the lowest scorer on the day. Levin, coming back to the PGA Tour on a medical exemption after a year off due to surgery on his left thumb last year, laid down a six-birdie, bogey-free, 65 on the 7,379-yard Robert Trent Jones II course at CordeValle Golf Club today. Combined with his even-par first round, he finished 36 holes with a 6-under 136 total and is one of seven players tied for 11th place at this score. The 2nd-round 65 boosted him 39 places up the leaderboard from his first day position.
Though not posting a dramatically low score on either day, former Cal Bear Charlie Wi is the best-positioned of the players in the field with Northern California connections, posting rounds of 67 and 68 to close out the first two days of the tournament T-6, four strokes back of 36-hole leader Brooks Koepka. Another Cal golfer, 2013 grad Max Homa, is two strokes back of Wi.
Homa, galleried by a contingent of friends and Cal alumni, backed up his first-round 69 with a 68 to post a 36-hole total of 137, good for T-18 at the close of play.
Kevin Chappell, another Central Valley golfer, from Fresno, had a pair of spotty rounds, with three bogeys apiece, but carded enough birdies – four on Thursday, five today – to card a 36-hole total of 70-69 – 139 and make the cut by a comfortable three strokes.
A little further down the leaderboard, Stockton-born Ricky Barnes finished two shots inside the cut line with a 71-69 – 140, laying off a bogey on the par-4 sixth hole with birdies on 7, 11, and 15.
Denver, CO, native Mark Hubbard, a 2011 San Jose State grad, got into the field at the Frys.com Open the hard way, through the Monday qualifying tournament on the Bayonet course at Bayonet-Blackhorse in Seaside. Hubbard carded rounds of 69 and 71 to post 140 for 36 holes, making the cut by two strokes and placing himself in the field for the weekend.
Former Stanford golfer Alex Aragon, who made a pair of bogeys early yesterday before righting the ship and coming home with five birdies from the eighth hole in, got off to another shaky start today, with a double and two bogeys in his first nine holes. A pair of birdies at the challenging uphill, downhill pair of par-4s at numbers 4 and 5 brought the 2000 Stanford grad home in 68-73 – 141, 1-under and inside the cut line by a stroke.
Fresno’s Derek Ernst was unable to recapture the magic of his 2012 Frys.com appearance, going 73-75 – 148 to finish well outside the cut. Ernst, a former UNLV Running rebel, Monday-qualified into the Frys last year, made the cut and finished T-41 to earn his first PGA Tour paycheck. The 23-year-old second-year PGA Tour player locked up a two-year exemption, and a $1.2 million payday, with a win at the 2013 Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Golf Club in Charlotte, NC, in May.
Due to the number of players who made the cut, Saturday’s third round will again be run in three-player groupings off of two tees. Eighty-one players will start Saturday’s round, but a second cut, to the Top 70 and ties, will be made at the end of the third round, setting the field for the Sunday’s final round.