Former Bluffton resident Kris Blanks fired a second-round, 7-under-par 65 and moved into the top 25 at the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament during Thursday's play at Bear Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Blanks, a former Hilton Head professional and a PGA Tour rookie in 2009, is at 2-under 142 and tied for 18th in the field of 170. First-round leader Troy Merritt shot a 3-under 69 to maintain his position atop the field at 8-under-par.
Charleston resident Bronson La'Cassie and Aiken native Kevin Kisner shot rounds of 2-under 70. La'Cassie, an Australian native, is tied for 30th at 1-under after two rounds, while former Georgia player Kisner is at even-par 144 and tied for 39th.
The top 25 players and ties after Monday's sixth round earn PGA Tour exemption for 2010.
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Other players with South Carolina ties failed to gain ground Thursday. Former Clemson players Brent Delahoussaye and Stephen Poole, North Augusta's Scott Brown and former Furman player Matt Davidson all shot 71. Delahoussaye (1-over for 36 holes) is tied for 54th, Poole (2-over) tied for 68th and Brown and Davidson (4-over) tied for 100th.
Former USC player Mark Anderson (74) and ex-Wofford player William McGirt (71) are at 5-over (T-111th). Former S.C. Amateur champion and USC player Alex Hamilton of Aiken (72), Greenwood's Emmett Turner (75) and former Clemson player Brian Duncan (77) are at 6-over and T-125th.
Bishopville's Tommy Gainey and former Clemson All-American Charles Warren, shot 77 and 79 to tumble to 8-over (T-147th). Former USC player Kyle Thompson (75, 10-over) is tied for 158th.
- Bob Gillespie