By Michael Curet, PGATOUR.COM Contributor
Marc Turnesa and Craig Barlow both shot 67 to lead the way in Monday's qualifier field at the Bayonet Course in Seaside, Calif., and earn their way into this week's Frys.com Open.
Turnesa, a 34-year-old graduate of N.C. State, posted six birdies on the back nine at Bayonet. He is coming off a tie for 46th in last week's Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open -- site of his only PGA TOUR victory, in 2008. This year, he's made five of 10 cuts and also played a handful of events on the Web.com Tour. In February's Mayokoba Golf Classic, Turnesa turned in his best 2012 performance with a tie for 16th.
Barlow, a 40-year-old journeyman who has finished as high as third on the PGA TOUR twice in his career (2002 Air Canada Championship and 1999 Buick Challenge), has two cuts made in six starts on TOUR this year.
Derek Ernst, who finished his collegiate career at UNLV this past spring, overcame a couple of early bogeys with six birdies to finish 4 under -- good enough for third place and also a spot in the Frys.com Open. The 22-year-old native of Clovis, Calif., competed in this summer's Palmer Cup in Northern Ireland before turning professional. He also lost in the finals of the 2011 U.S. Amateur Public Links.
Matt Marshall, who carded a 69, won a six-man playoff for the final spot. The 27-year-old Reno, Nev., native has spent most of 2012 on the Canadian Tour.
This week marks just the ninth start of the season on the PGA TOUR for Craig Barlow, who has split his season between here and the Nationwide Tour. That said, he’s done a decent job of being competitive on the big tour with a tie for fifth in Reno, just one missed cut and an opening-round 66 Thursday to sit just two shots off the current lead.
Barlow, like much of the morning wave, played in a wave of steady drizzle that soaked the course but also softened it.
“Obviously soft conditions normally is good for scoring, but it rained on us like 10 or 11 holes today,” Barlow said. “It was tough this morning in the sense that you were just -- I'm soaked right now so you were just trying to stay dry.”
This is also Barlow’s first trip to Sedgefield, where he expects scores to be low. Not exactly a surprise given that just two years ago, Carl Pettersson shot a tournament-record 21-under 259 that was highlighted by a 61.
“I'm happy with 4 under,” Barlow said. “That being said, I have plenty of things to improve on.” -- Brian Wacker
We now have eight players tied for the lead at 1 under – three of whom, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Mike Weir and K.J. Choi, are done for the day.
Also in that group are Ian Poulter, who has two holes remaining; Jason Dufner, who has three; and Craig Barlow, who has four.
Poulter actually has an 18-footer for birdie at the 17th hole to take sole possession of the lead while Barlow has a 10-footer on the par-5 sixth to do the same.
The afternoon wave is starting to tee off now. Rocco Mediate, who lost the 2008 U.S. Open in a playoff to Tiger Woods, has just birdied his first hole while amateur Morgan Hoffman did the same at No. 2.