After shooting a course-record 65 on Monday, Dirk Schultz continued his assault on Hillendale Country Club today at the 78th Maryland State Golf Association's men's open championship.
Schultz, the 34-year-old head professional at Beaver Creek Country Club in Hagerstown, made an eagle on No. 18 to finish with a 66. That put him at 13-under-par 131 for the 54-hole stroke-play tournament.
"This is the best I've played ever in my life," Schultz said. "That's the lowest I've ever been in two days."
Following today's second round, the cut was made at 150, reducing the field to 41 golfers -- 26 professionals and 15 amateurs. Wednesday's final round begins at 8 a.m.
Mike Mitchell, a 19-year-old junior at the University of Virginia, shot a first-round 66 but once again could not keep pace with Schultz.
Looking to build a lead on Mitchell, Schultz birdied three holes on the front nine. Even with a bogey on No. 3, he had a four-stroke lead at the turn. Mitchell, who parred the first eight holes, made a bogey on No. 9.
After Schultz birdied No. 10, Mitchell birdied four consecutive holes, beginning with No. 13. That left Schultz, with a birdie on No. 13, just two strokes ahead going into No. 18. "I started to get comfortable and wasn't really trying to make my birdies," Schultz said.
Schultz went with a two-iron on his second shot on the par-5 No. 18, which at 531 yards is the second-longest hole on the 6,750-yard course. His ball landed 15 feet past the hole. He made the eagle putt and gained a five-stroke lead over Mitchell, who bogeyed the final hole to finish at 136.
Keith Unikel, the defending champion who is a University of Maryland senior, parred his first 12 holes. He finished the round with an even-par 72, leaving him in third place at 140.
Larry Ringer, the head professional at Country Club of Woodmore who recently finished tied for 23rd at the U.S. Senior Open, shot a 69 to move into a tie for fourth place at 141. He was joined by Danny Lee of Oakmarr Golf Complex and Dennis Winters of Columbia Country Club, both of whom shot second-round 69s.
Two-time Maryland Open champion Wayne DeFrancesco withdrew from the tournament after shooting 5 over through the first nine holes today.