If Havre de Grace native David Hutsell is to repeat last year's PGA Professional National Championship win, he will need to shoot back-to-back sub par rounds and get a little help from those ahead of him.
After two rounds of play in Seaside, Calif., and at the Black Horse and Bayonet Golf Courses, Hutsell sits in a tie for 33rd place with rounds of 72 and 74. The plus two score had Hutsell 10 strokes behind the two-day leader, event rookie Matt Dobyns of New York, who shot back-to-back rounds of 66 to take a three stroke lead over the entire 77-player field who made the cut.
Third round play was to continue Tuesday with final round play set for Wednesday.
Hutsell, the PGA director of instruction at Elkridge Club in Baltimore, double bogeyed the second hole at Bayonet Monday and that stood out in his over par round. Hutsell also bogeyed holes 6 and 12, but rallied with birdies at holes 7 and 14.
In Sunday's first round, Hutsell needed a late round birdie to finish at even par. Hutsell's final birdie of three on the day, came on the par five, eighth hole at the Black Horse course. It was Hutsell's 17th hole after starting his round on the 10th tee.
With the hope of a repeat maybe gone, Hutsell is still shooting to qualify for this year's PGA Championship, set for August at Kiawah Island, S.C. Hutsell needs to finish in the top 20 to qualify. Entering Tuesday's round, 16 players and one stroke stood between Hutsell and a top 20 placing.
Hutsell will be in Maryland State Open action next month to defend a title as well. Hutsell rallied with a closing course-record 65 last year, thanks to a birdie-eagle-eagle-birdie front nine stretch to win at Maryland Golf and Country Clubs.
Hutsell was also member of the victorious 2011 U.S. PGA Cup Team and capped his memorable 2011 season by earning the PGA Professional Player of the Year Award.