MUSCLE SHOALS -- Jesus Dario Montenegro shot a 68 to put himself into the Ohio Valley Conference men's golf lead, and he helped boost his Jacksonville State team to first place as well.
Montenegro tied for the low round of the day to take a two-shot lead atop the individual leaderboard after 36 holes. The Gamecocks shot a 6-under 282, which puts them at 17 for the tournament. They lead Belmont by five strokes.
The third and final round will be Tuesday. The Gamecocks will go for their third straight OVC title when they are paired with Belmont and Austin Peay in the final round.
The Gamecocks entered the day trailing the Bruins by two shots but posted the best round of the day on the par-72, 7,214-yard Fighting Joe course at The Shoals on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Belmont sits in second place at 12 under, while Austin Peay is in third at 7 under.
Montenegro, a sophomore from Buenos Aires, Argentina, was tied for second in the 55-player field before Monday's second round started, but his 4-under 68 that followed a Sunday 67 puts him at 9-under with one day to play. His 36-hole score of 135 is two ahead of Belmont's Evan Davis, who started the day tied with Montenegro and JSU sophomore Quim Vidal Mora for second.
Vidal Mora got off to a hot start Monday, making birdies on Nos. 3 and 4 and was in the lead at the turn before a bogey on 11 stopped his streak of 15-straight bogey-free holes dating back to Sunday. He finished Monday's round with a 1-over 73 that puts him in a tie for seventh with a 4-under 140 through two days.
Senior Benedikt Thalmayr moved up one spot into a tie for 11th with a 1-under 71 on Monday.
Sophomore Maximo Portais made the biggest jump for JSU on the day, using birdies on Nos. 16 and 18 to cap a 2-under 70 that puts him at 2 under through 36 holes. The two-day score of 142 him climb eight spots Monday and under par for the tournament.
Sophomore Max Basler enters Tuesday's final round in 46th at 155 after a second-round 82. The first group in the final pairing will tee off at 10:30 a.m. Live scoring will be available online at www.golfstat.com.