Gomez shoots 60 to take Stonebrae Classic lead
August 01, 2014
By Joe Chemycz, PGATOUR.COM
- Fabian Gomez leads by one after two rounds. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
HAYWARD, Calif. – Fabian Gomez did his best to keep his mind on the big picture during Friday’s second round of the Stonebrae Classic. Gomez opened his round with seven birdies in his first nine holes and was put on “59 watch” for the back nine at TPC Stonebrae.
The par-70 layout atop the hills in Hayward had been hemorrhaging birdies at a record rate and Gomez was leading the charge on day two. Unfortunately his irons coming in weren’t as crisp as they were going out and the 36-year-old Argentine settled for a career-best, and course record, 10-under-par 60.
“I was definitely aware of it (59) but I was just trying to stay in the moment, hit good shots and make good putts,” Gomez said through an interpreter. “I never relaxed. I stayed focused on what I was doing.”
What he nearly did was equal the lowest score in Tour history but his 25-foot birdie putt on the final hole ran out of gas near the hole.
“I wasn’t nervous at all,” he said. “If it’s to win, maybe. I was just trying to make a putt.”
The tap-in par gave Gomez a two-day of 14-under 126 and sole possession of the 36-hole lead for the first time in his career.
Blayne Barber, winner of the South Georgia Classic in April, added a 6-under 64 to his opening 63 and is at 13-under 127, one shot back.
Tony Finau blasted his way to a career-low, 8-under 62 and is at 11-under 129, good for third place.
Ash Hall (65), Nicholas Lindheim (67), Colt Knost (65), Bronson Burgoon (64) and Travis Bertoni (65) are all at 10-under 130 and tied for fourth place.
Gomez drew the early attention after putting up a 7-under 28 on the front nine and moving into contention. His efforts to join the elite “sub-60” group stalled out on the back.
“It’s the closest I’ve been and so it’s a little disappointing,” he said. “I had the opportunity to make that putt. It’s not very often you find yourself in a spot like to shoot 59. I could have hit a better iron shot from the fairway. I just didn’t hit it that good.”
Disappointment aside, Gomez will lead the field into the weekend as he seeks to add this title to the one he won at the 2009 Chitimacha Louisiana Open.
Barber, who has already tasted victory in 2014, is looking to climb up the money list standings as the season heads into the final four weeks.
“I would certainly love to win but I’m just trying to play solid golf and finish as high as I can each week,” said Barber, who is No. 9 on the list and assured of a spot on the PGA TOUR for the 2014-15 season. “We just want to get every shot out of every round from here to the end. Being high on the final list is such an advantage. Winning would take care of that but I want to be focused on the process of getting everything I can out of every round.”
Fabian Gomez’s 60 takes lead at Stonebrae
SECOND ROUND NOTES:
• Friday weather: Sunny skies. Wind WSW 7-15 mph. Overnight low 61. Daytime high 83.
• A total of 21 players returned to the course Friday morning to finish up their opening rounds. Thursday’s round was delayed 1:45 minutes after it began because of fog in the area and that prevented the entire field from finishing.
• Daniel Miernicki (75) withdrew prior to the start of the second round due to tendinitis issues.
• Matteo Bellenda withdrew during the second round due to a wrist injury.
• A total of 73 players made the 36-hole cut, which came at 3-under-par 147.
• Third-round play will be in twosomes off the first tee. Times will run from 7:11 a.m. to 12:50 p.m.
• The Stonebrae Classic was played from 2009-12 but was not on the 2013 schedule due to construction of a new clubhouse. Previous tournament winners were Michael Sim (2009), Kevin Chappell (2010), Daniel Chopra (2011) and Alex Aragon (2012).
• Fabian Gomez, 36, was born and lives in Resistencia, Argentina.
• Gomez first joined the Web.com Tour in 2007 and this is his 128th career start. His lone win came at the 2010 Chitimacha Louisiana Open. This year he has made 10 cuts in 12 starts and has a pair of top-10 finishes – T4 at the United Leasing Championship and T10 at the Albertsons Boise Open. He had a string of six consecutive made cuts halted last week when he didn’t make it to the weekend rounds at the Midwest Classic.
• Gomez came into the week No. 36 on the money list.
• This is the first time in his career that Gomez has held the 36-hole lead and just the second time overall. The only other time he led following a round was at the 2010 BMW Charity Pro-Am, where he was the 54-hole leader. He went on to shoot a 1-over 72 in the final round and finished 6th.
• Gomez becomes the 22nd player in Tour history to shoot a 60 during tournament play. He is also the third player to shoot a 60 this year – and all three have now come in consecutive weeks. Gomez joins Zack Sucher (11-under 60 in R1 of the Albertsons Boise Open two weeks ago) and Tom Hoge (11-under in R3 of the Midwest Classic last week) with the low rounds of the year.
• Gomez posted a course-record, 10-under-par 60 Friday. The previous competitive mark at TPC Stonebrae was set by 2011 champion Daniel Chopra in the third round and matched by Matt Harmon in the final round of 2012.
• Gomez’ round of 60 Friday is three strokes better than his previous career-best. He shot an 8-under 63 in the first round of the 2009 BMW Charity Pro-Am.
• Gomez also posted 28 (7-under) on his opening nine holes, matching the low nine-hole score of the year. Jon Curran shot an 8-under 28 in the opening round of the Brasil Champions at the start of the year.
• Gomez’ 28 on the front nine ties the fifth-lowest nine-hole score in Tour history. Four players have posted 27’s over the years, the most recent being Chesson Hadely (2013 BMW Charity Pro-Am) and Chad Collins (2013 Utah Championship).
• Gomez’ 28 on the front also matched the tournament record for that side set by Matt Every in the second round in 2009.
• Gomez’ 36-hole total of 126 is the second-lowest on Tour this year. Jon Curran opened with rounds of 61-64—125 at the Brasil Champions back in March.
• Gomez’ score of 126 also set a tournament record for the first 36 holes. David Hearn opened with rounds of 64-65—129 in 2010.
• Gomez’ 126 is also a career-best. His previous low was 131 (63-68/11-under) at the2009 BMW Charity Pro-Am.
• Tony Finau, 24, is from Lehi, Utah. He has made 12 of 16 cuts this year and came into the week No. 24 on the money list. Finau’s best finishes are a T4 at the United Leasing Championship and a 5th at the Utah Championship. Finau had made 11 cuts in a row before missing the weekend at the Albertsons Boise Open two weeks ago. He took last week off.
• Finau’s 8-under 62 is a career-best score. His previous low was a 64 (8-under) in the second round of this year’s United Leasing Championship.
• Franklin Corpening recorded the second hole-in-one in as many days when he aced the 12th hole Friday morning. Corpening used a 7-iron on the 193-yard hole. Scott Parel aced the 16th hole in Thursday’s opener.
• Zack Sucher, winner of last week’s Midwest Classic, got off to another solid start with scores of 65-68-133 (-7) that puts him T19 at the halfway mark. Sucher opened with a 60 two weeks ago at the Albertsons Boise Open and finished T4. He started last week in Kansas City with a 5-under 66 and then added a 63 in round two and a 64 in round three to open up a three-shot lead, which was his margin of victory.
• Among those making the cut is 2009 champion Michael Sim of Australia. Sim posted scores of 69-67—136 (-4) to advance to the weekend for the first time since the 2012 Mylan Classic. Sim, the Tour’s Player of the Year in 2009, has been away from competitive golf in the United States for nearly two years.
After missing the cut in last week’s Midwest Classic where he was also a past champion, Sim admitted that he was a little burned out on golf and needed some time away from the game.
Sim leads the field in driving accuracy (26 of 26/100%) and is T2 in greens in regulation (33 of 36/91.7%) but has needed 68 putts the first two days. He had 36 putts with his first-round 69 and 32 with his 67 today.
He is T47 after the first 36 holes.
• Leading money winner Carlos Ortiz (70-69) missed the cut, clearing the way for No. 2 Andrew Putnam to close the gap on the money list. Putnam (65-70) is T37 heading into the final two days. He currently trails Ortiz by $53,441 in the race for the No. 1 spot on the money list at the end of the regular season.
• Reigning NCAA Champion Cameron Wilson of Stanford is in the field this week courtesy of a sponsor exemption. The Connecticut native is playing in just his second Web.com Tour event after gaining entry into last week’s Midwest Classic as a Monday qualifier.
Wilson has posted rounds of 64-70—134 (-6) and is T29.
• Wilson became only the third Stanford player to win the NCAA Men’s Individual Championship when he captured the title earlier this year. The other two Cardinal players to win were Tiger Woods (1995) and former USGA President Sandy Tatum (1942).
• The Bay Area is well represented with several players who have ties to Northern California:
Brandon Hagy 71-67—138 (-2) MC California Max Homa 68-66—134 (-6) T29 California Mark Hubbard 70-67—137 (-3) T61 San Jose State Michael Jensen 70-66—136 (-4) T47 California Michael Kim 67-64—131 (-9) T9 California Gregor Main 68-65—133 (-7) T19 born in Berkeley (UCLA) Peter Tomasulo 67-66—133 (-7) T19 California Cameron Wilson 64-70—134 (-6) T29 Stanford
• Six of 12 Monday qualifiers made the 36-hole cut this week. That total matches the most of any week on Tour this year (South Georgia Classic). The best of the bunch is 25-year old Tyler Duncan of Indiana. The 2012 Purdue grad has carded rounds of 66-66—132 (-8) and is T16.
• Making his first start on the Web.com Tour in more than seven years was 48-year old Mike Springer. Springer played out of the 48-49 year old category this week.
Unfortunately he posted scores of 76-73—149 (+9) and did not make the cut.
“It was fun to be back,” he said. “I played a little better today. I changed the shaft in my driver and I felt I drove it better. I’m happy with it.”
Springer owns the distinction of being the first tournament winner in Tour history. The former Arizona Wildcat won the Tour’s inaugural start at the1990 Bakersfield Open. He would go on to win two more times late in the year – Reno Open, El Paso Open – and moved on to the PGA TOUR.
Springer had an extended career on TOUR and his best year came in 1994 when he won two times and finished No. 13 on the money list. Springer’s last start on TOUR came at the 2006 Valero Texas Open. His last start of any kind came at the 2007 Rex Hospital Open.
• NEXT WEEK: The Web.com Tour heads back to the Midwest for the 25th Price Cutter Charity Championship at Highland Springs Country Club (Aug. 4-10), th3 19th of 21 regular season events on the schedule. Last year Andrew Svoboda fired a final round, 8-under 64 to come from two shots off the pace and earn his first career title. Svoboda was flawless on Sunday, hitting all 18 greens in regulation. The former St. John’s University standout finished at 22-under 266 and won by three shots over Brazil’s Fernando Mechereffe. This year’s purse will total $675,000 with $121,500 to the winner.