Former Bluffton resident Kris Blanks moved into a tie for fifth at the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, positioning himself to earn another year's exemption as play in Sunday's fifth round was suspended because of darkness.
Blanks, a PGA Tour rookie in 2009, shot a 3-under-par 69 in the fourth round, which was completed early Sunday, and was at 13-under overall when play was stopped. Players are scheduled to return to Bear Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., at 7:45 a.m. today to finish the fifth round and at least begin the sixth and final round.
The top 25 and ties will earn exemptions for the PGA Tour for 2010.
Two other players with South Carolina connections were within range of making the top 25. Aiken's Kevin Kisner completed his fifth round with a 69, while Charleston resident Bronson La'Cassie also finished the fifth round, shooting 70. Both are 7-under and tied for 28th.
Former Clemson player Brent Delahoussaye was 3-over for his incomplete fifth round and tied for 32nd at 6-under. Another shot back at 5-under (T-42nd) is another ex-Tiger, Aiken native Stephen Poole, after a 72 Sunday.
Beaufort native and former USC player Mark Anderson and North Augusta's Scott Brown are tied for 57th (3-under). Brown was 4-under and Anderson 2-under in Sunday's incomplete rounds.
The rest of the S.C. contingent fell out of contention for a top-25 spot. Bishopville's Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey is at even-par (T-74th); former Wofford player William McGirt is 3-over after a 71 Sunday (T-97th); and Greenwood's Emmett Turner is 5-over after a 72 Sunday (T-109th).
Others included former Clemson player Brian Duncan (T-113th, 6-over), Aiken native Alex Hamilton (T-126th, 8-over) and ex-Furman player Matt Davidson (T-139th, 12-over). Former USC player Kyle Thompson and ex-Clemson player Charles Warren had withdrawn Sunday as the field shrank to 153 from its original 170.