Gotterup uses birdie binge to grab lead at Myrtle Beach

golf11 May 2024 11:14| © AFP
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Chris Gotterup © Gallo Images

Chris Gotterup birdied his final four holes and six of his last eight to shoot a 7-under 64 and take the second-round lead at the inaugural Myrtle Beach Classic on Friday in South Carolina.

The PGA Tour rookie used his red-hot finish to get to 12-under 130 through two rounds at The Dunes Golf and Beach Club, passing Scotland's Robert MacIntyre, who was the clubhouse leader at 11 under after shooting 67.

"We were really just executing shots pretty solidly down the stretch there," Gotterup said. "It got pretty windy, so definitely a good finish for me today."

Gotterup, who earned his tour card via the Korn Ferry Tour points list last fall, made a series of short birdie putts during his back nine before reaching the par-3 17th hole, where his tee shot landed 50 1/2 feet away. But he got the lengthy putt to drop, and he capped off his streak with a 17-footer at No 18 for his eighth and final birdie of the day.

It doesn't mark Gotterup's first time in contention at a PGA Tour event. He tied for fourth at the 2022 John Deere Classic while playing on a sponsor's exemption.

"I don't think (his mindset) shifts much," Gotterup said of being the leader. "Obviously there's a lot of good guys right in the mix there. Just got to go out and do what I'm trying to do and execute shots. Other than that, nothing is going to change."

MacIntyre, who shared the 18-hole lead with Beau Hossler, fared better on the front nine, making four birdies before petering out and coming in with just one bogey and one birdie.

MacIntyre made no bones about grinding on the PGA Tour – at a new event opposite the signature Wells Fargo Championship – in order to chase his dream.

"I'm trying to keep my card out here. It's not easy," the World No 84 said. "I've not had the greatest of starts, or after an alright start, I've not played the way I wanted to play. I want to be one of the best players in the world, so whatever I've got to play, I'll play, whether it's in the US, whether it's in Europe, whether it's further afield. It doesn't faze me. I'm used to traveling."

Jorge Campillo of Spain is alone in third at 10 under after his second straight 66. Hossler posted a 69 and is now tied for fourth at 9 under with Alex Smalley (65), Davis Thompson (68) and Alistair Docherty (68).