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U.S. trio shares halfway lead in Guadalajara

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U.S. trio shares halfway lead in Guadalajara

    Written by Gregory Villalobos @PGATOURLA

    GUADALAJARA, Jalisco, Mexico—At 9-under 133, Ollie Osborne of Reno, Nevada, Evan Knight of Novato, California, and Josh Goldenberg of Scarsdale, New York, make it a U.S. trio atop the leaderboard halfway through the Jalisco Open Guadalajara at Atlas Country Club. Osborne and Knight shot 67 and 66, respectively, in the morning wave, while Goldenberg joined them by carding a 68 in the afternoon.

    The co-leaders finished the day one shot ahead of another trio, featuring Mexico’s own Luis Gerardo Garza, José de Jesús Rodríguez, the defending champion, and Canada’s Stuart Macdonald.

    Making it a group of 13 players within two shots of the lead, there are seven players tied for the seventh spot. Those at 7-under include the Mexican trio of Isidro Benítez, Álvaro Ortiz and Rodolfo Cazaubón.

    “Honestly, I’ve been driving the ball really well, which is pretty necessary out here, and I have also seen a few putts go in, so it’s been fun,” said Osborne, who reached the top playing in the first group off, at 6:50 a.m.

    He opened the day going birdie-bogey-birdie to shoot 1-under on the front and then had a rollercoaster back nine, recording an eagle, four birdies, three bogeys and a single par for a round of 67. “All over the place. I was a little bit frustrated after two bogeys in a row (late in the round), but it’s all right, we’ll keep it going,” said the SMU alum who holds the 29th position in the Totalplay Cup points list.

    Later in the morning, Knight birdied two of his last three holes to post a 66 that matched the leading number. “I have been hitting it pretty straight off the tee, which is kind of the key out here,” said the 28-year-old about the challenges at the tree-lined, par-71 Atlas Country Club. “If you are hitting it in the trees, you are going to be punching out or you are just going to have a hard time. Hopefully, I can keep that going this weekend.”

    Coming off an opening 65 that placed him in a four-way tie for the opening-round lead, Goldenberg had a slower pace Friday afternoon. “Today wasn’t as exciting as [Thursday]. I made a birdie on 1 and then a bunch of pars after, but I just tried to stay patient, taking one shot at a time. I gave myself some good looks when I could, and I’m just going to stick to the same game plan this weekend,” said Goldenberg after a round of four birdies and a bogey for a 68.

    Goldenberg is the highest-ranked Totalplay Cup player among the co-leaders. He currently holds the 22nd spot, having recorded six top-25 finishes in 10 starts. A victory this weekend could take him as high as fifth in the points list.

    In the last group off No. 1 Saturday, the co-leaders are scheduled to start the third round at 12:20 p.m. local time.

    The cut came at 3-under 139, with 56 players from 11 countries, including nine Mexican players, advancing to the weekend.

    Key Information

    The following is a look at the different performance rewards available for the players who finish the season inside the Totalplay Cup top 60:

    In a group of four players who carded a low-of-the-day 65, Luis Gerardo Garza was the only one to go bogey-free. He charged into a tie for fourth to share low Mexican honors with the defending champion José de Jesús Rodríguez. A total of 39 Mexican players started the tournament and the following nine will continue playing this weekend:

    T4Luis Gerardo Garza134 (-8)
    T4José de Jesús Rodríguez134 (-8)
    T7Isidro Benítez135 (-7)
    T7Álvaro Ortiz135 (-7)
    T7Rodolfo Cazaubón 135 (-7)
    T24Aaron Terrazas137 (-5)
    T24Alejandro Madariaga 137 (-5)
    T44Raúl Pereda139 (-3)
    T44Eduardo Cabrera139 (-3)

    With his driver a little bit off this morning, José de Jesús Rodríguez managed to shoot a 3-under 68 to get to 8-under to remain within one stroke of the lead. “My driving was awful today, and you know that’s my strength. When you are missing the fairway, it’s tough out here, but I was fortunate to save some good pars to keep going. The score wasn’t that bad given those circumstances,” said the 42-year-old defending champion.

    Aside from Luis Gerardo Garza, the other three players to shoot 65 Friday were Garza’s countryman Alvaro Ortiz, Argentina’s Andrés Gallegos and Canada’s Max Sekulic. The first three moved inside the top 25, while Sekulic missed the cut by one after a costly, opening 75.

    Totalplay Cup No. 1 Myles Creighton followed an opening 69 with a 70 to slip into a tie for 44th after tying for third a year ago. With six of the Totalplay Cup’s top 10 advancing to the weekend, this is how things look through 36 holes at Atlas Country Club:

    Points List Pos.PlayerPositionScore
    1Myles Creighton (Canada)T443-under
    2Chandler Blanchet (U.S.)T245-under
    3Walker Lee (U.S.)T146-under
    4Charlie Hillier (New Zealand)CUT2-under
    5Conner Godsey (U.S.)CUT1-over
    6Austin Hitt (U.S.)T245-under
    7Linus Lilliedahl (Sweden)CUTpar
    8Toni Hakula (Finland)T146-under
    9Cristóbal Del Solar (Chile)*----
    10Matt Ryan (U.S.)T384-under

    *Korn Ferry Tour player, not playing this week

    With Argentina’s Puma Domínguez (tied for seventh at 7-under) and Peru’s Luis Fernando Barco (tied for 14th at 6-under) currently projected to move inside the top 60, those who would fall outside are Danny Ochoa, who missed the cut and is projected to drop from 56th to 61st, and Samuel Anderson, who also missed the cut and projects to drop from 59th to 63rd.

    Totalplay Cup Standings Bubble Watch

    Points List Pos.PlayerJalisco Open GDL Pos.Projected Totalplay Cup Rank
    56Danny Ochoa (U.S.)CUT61
    57Peyton Wilhoit (U.S.)T4458
    58Brendon Doyle (U.S.)T3856
    59Samuel Anderson (U.S.)CUT63
    60Thomas Lilly (U.S.)T4460
    61Santiago Bauni (Argentina)CUT64
    62Joel Thelen (U.S.)*----
    63Skyler Finnell (U.S.)CUT67
    64Alex Scott (U.S.)CUT68
    65Matías Simaski (Argentina)CUT69

    * Korn Ferry Tour player (not competing this week)

    Second-Round Weather: Partly cloudy. High of 100. Wind W at 16-29, with gusts to 36 mph.

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