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Schmuhl enjoying home game and in contention

Jason Schmuhl enjoying home game and in contention through 54 holes at PPC

SEASIDE, Calif. -- Jason Schmuhl is hoping that home cooking is just what he needs to get to a second career PGA Championship.

Schmuhl played his first PGA Championship in 2010. Twice since then, he's been one of the odd men out in a playoff for the 20th spot.  

Now, in the 51st PGA Professional Championship at Bayonet -- a course he's played countless times -- the 46-year-old Schmuhl from nearby Windsor is very much in contention after a 4-under 68 on Tuesday got him to 1 under for the week.

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"It's a home game for me," said Schmuhl, whose best PPC finish was a T15 in 2010 at French Lick Resort. "I've played here a bunch, so it's almost like playing my home course, really. When I heard it was here, I was pretty excited... until I played the first six holes of the championship and I was 4 over. But it's been good ever since then."

Indeed it has. 

Schmuhl had two birdies on the front side in Round 3 and then strung together three consecutive birdies to begin the back nine. His lone bogey came at the par-4 15th hole. 

"I think course knowledge has been helping me the most this week," he said. "I know where I need to hit it. That's a big advantage."

Schmuhl said that qualifying for the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits was the highlight of his career and, "it would mean a lot to get back. I had never hit shots where 5,000 people were lining the fairways."

In order to do that, he'll need to finish inside the top 20 on Wednesday. 

With all his experience at Bayonet, Schmuhl is optimistic about his chances.

"I feel very comfortable out here and I think I'm going to shoot a good score tomorrow," he said. 

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