BANDON, Ore. (July 25, 2012) -- Bandon, Ore. (July 25, 2012) — Gaston De La Torre of Brush Prairie, Wash. fired an even-par 72 at Bandon Dunes Golf Course, good for a one-shot lead over first round co-leader, Lorens Chan of Honolulu, Hawaii and Jarred Bossio of Olympia, Wash.
The 22-year-old De La Torre, a recent graduate New Mexico State University, had three birdies and three bogeys today and is at even-par 142 for two rounds (the championship is using the par-70 Brandon Trails GC in addition to the Bandon Dunes GC layout).
Chan, an 18-year-old incoming freshman at UCLA, had the lead on the back nine until he made double-bogey 6 on the 17th hole. He had a chance to tie for the lead after reaching the par-5 finishing hole in two shots but then three-putted from 45 feet, missing a 4-footer for birdie.
Bossio, a 22-year-old recent graduate from the University of Idaho, also had a chance for the lead until he made double-bogey 5 on the 15th hole. He finished with a 2-under-par 70, one of seven subpar rounds today even though the wind was not as strong as in the first round Tuesday at Bandon Trails.
Alberto Sanchez of Nogales, Ariz. heads a trio of golfers tied for fourth after firing the low round of the day, 4-under-par 68. He joins Sam Saunders (70 today) of Albuquerque, NM and Matt Rawitzer of Bellingham, Wash. (73); each is at 3 over par 145 for the championship.
In the concurrent Morse Cup team competition, Rawitzer helped his Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA) team hold off the rival team from Washington to capture the title by one shot. With the best two of three individual scores during each of the first two rounds counting for the team total, the PNGA team finished at 291, 7 over par. Washington posted a 5-under-par 139 today but fell a shot short.
De La Torre, who plans on turning professional after this tournament, felt that his lead could have been much larger. “I left a lot of shots out there,” he noted. One (or two) of those was a bogey on par-5 the ninth hole, which yielded 28 birdies today and played the easiest hole for the round. “That was frustrating but you can’t let it get to you,” said De La Torre with a shrug. “You just have to keep grinding. At the end of the day even-par was a good score considering the windy conditions.”
Bossio will be happy to enter the third round just one shot back. “I got off to an awful start yesterday, “ he recounted, “making doubles on holes 3 and 4, then I played 1-under-par golf the rest of the way. Today I had a double and two bogeys but also made six birdies. My goal for tomorrow is no doubles; if I do that, I should be in good shape.”
Sanchez, an 18-year-old incoming freshman at Arizona State University who played in the U.S. Open this year at The Olympic Club (he missed the cut for the final 36 holes by just one shot) is also looking forward to tomorrow’s third round, which will be played at Bandon Trails.
“I hit the ball really well yesterday the but I had six three-putts,” said Sanchez, “and I was really striping it today. I literally hit only one bad shot all day. If I keep hitting it like I’ve done for the first two days and make some putts, I will be right there.”