SANDY — Two rounds down, two to go at the Web.com Utah Championship and Andres Gonzales is still in the lead.
After 36 holes, Gonzales holds a two-stroke edge over Steve Wheatcroft and Travis Bertoni with a 13-under 129. Local product Tony Finau and four others are three shots back entering the weekend.
“It’s always good to be in the lead. If you have the lead you’re playing well,” Gonzales said. “It’s just a matter of sticking to the game plan, which is pounding fairways, pounding some greens and making some putts.”
Gonzales followed a 62 on Thursday with a 67 on Friday.
“Day one I just made more putts. I played pretty solid today. I scrambled a bit on the back nine. I put myself in position where I had to punch out a couple of times. But (on Thursday) I was able to get up and down,” he said. “I didn’t really make any mistakes. I parred a couple of par 5s, which were my mistakes. But if you’re making par you’re not hurting yourself.”
Finau’s only bogey of the day came on the 18th hole. An errant tee shot led to a penalty, but the West High graduate recovered nicely with an 8-foot putt.
“It wasn’t a very good swing but that was a huge putt,” said Finau, who dropped out of a three-way tie for second on the final hole.
Even so, Finau is still very much in the thick of things.
“Good position going into the weekend,” he said. “That’s all I can ask for.”
Finau, who has had rounds of 65 and 67, admits that he’s “definitely nervous” about playing in front of a crowd filled with so many family and friends.
“I’m not going to shy away from that,” Finau said. “But I think it’s giving me more energy than anything else.”
Although he lives in Jacksonville, Fla., Wheatcroft is also feeling good about things. He's the only player in the field yet to have a bogey.
“I like it here. I get good vibes at this place,” he said. “I’ve had a mixed bag of results here, from finishing third (2009) all the way to missing a cut by a bunch. I like the golf course a lot.”
In 14 career rounds at Willow Creek, Wheatcroft has been over par only once.
Wheatcroft and Bertoni are just one stroke ahead of a pack of golfers that includes Finau, Sung Kang, Adam Crawford, Jose Toledo and Bhavik Patel.
Crawford shot a 10-under 61 — the best round of the tournament, thus far — to move into contention. He was even par after the first round.
TOURNAMENT NOTES: The field was trimmed to 65 with the cut coming at 5-under. ... Defending champion Steven Alker was among those not making it. ... Roger Sloan (8-under) has the top driving accuracy percentage (.875) after two rounds. ... Former BYU golfer Zac Blair (7-under) birdied on three par 3s.