Washington Takes Lead at NCAA Championship

June 1, 2006

Sunriver, Ore. - Despite wet and windy conditions during the second day at the NCAA Championship, the 22nd-ranked Washington men's golf team shot 6-under 282 in the afternoon round to take the overall lead at 13-under 563. Arizona State and Wake Forest are three strokes back at 10-under 566. Washington played particularly well on the front half of the course - the Huskies' last nine holes - where they recorded 14 birdies. Washington's first nine holes were disrupted by a 24-minute rain delay.

'If we had shot even-par today I would have been happy,' said Washington head coach Matt Thurmond. 'So for us to shoot six-under - I'm really happy. We got a good break with the weather conditions, they weren't as bad as they could have been. The greens were bumpy, as expected, but fortunately the guys were hitting it close enough that the putts weren't too long. For everybody to battle the weather and the delay on our first nine, and then to tear it up on the back nine was awesome.'

Sophomore Zach Bixler led the Husky charge, shooting 4-under 68 to move into a tie for second at 6-under 138. Bixler's round included five birdies, four on his second nine, with just one bogey. He has recorded five straight rounds under par, with four of five in the 60s. Wake Forest's Kyle Reifer's held onto the individual lead, shooting 2-under 70 for 36-hole total of 9-under 135.

'I birdied my first hole, and then I was just patient for the next eight holes,' Bixler said. 'I just hit it on the greens, took my two-putts and moved on. On the back side I went at more pins. I was hitting the ball really well, and that helped me make some birdies.'

'Zach was all over it on his final nine,' Thurmond said. 'He was four-under but he could have been more - he missed a couple of birdie putts. He was in the middle of every fairway and close to every pin.'

First round UW leaders Alex Prugh and James Lepp kept their spots in the top-10 in round two. Prugh shot even-par 72 and is tied for sixth at 5-under 139. Lepp, the defending NCAA Individual Champion, is 10th at 4-under 140 after shooting 1-under 71 on the day.

Erik Olson also shot 1-under 71 on the day, placing the junior 63rd at 2-over 146. Sterling Clark's 82 put him in 149th at 13-over 157.

'You've got to give credit to the guys,' said Thurmond of his team's postseason success thus far. 'No matter what they do in the regular season their confidence is very high. All five of these guys played in the Pac-10 Championship we won last year. Four of them played in the Regional where we finished third and four of them played at the NCAA Championship. We had some up and down finishes throughout this year, but their confidence never wavered.'

The third round of the NCAA Championship begins with the Huskies teeing off from the first tee tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. Live scoring of the round is available at golfstat.com.

NCAA Championship
Crosswater Club
Sunriver, Ore.
Par-72, 7,630 yards

Team Results
1. Washington 281-282-563
2. Arizona State 287-279-566
2. Wake Forest 277-289-566
4. Florida 284-285-569
5. Clemson 282-288-570
5. Kentucky 283-287-570
7. Oklahoma State 281-291-572
8. Minnesota 287-286-573
9. Texas A&M 291-283-574
9. UCLA 280-294-574
11. Lamar 292-283-575
12. North Carolina State 284-295-579
12. Arizona 296-283-579
12. Georgia 293-286-579
15. UNLV 293-290-583
15. Coastal Carolina 296-287-583
17. North Carolina 297-289-586
18. Northwestern 292-295-587
18. Charlotte 288-299-587
18. Texas Tech 297-290-587
18. Duke 290-297-587
18. East Tennessee State 286-301-587
23. South Carolina 292-296-588
23. Auburn 295-293-588
25. Brigham Young 292-298-590
25. Nevada 296-294-590
25. Pepperdine 296-294-590
25. Oklahoma 284-306-590
29. Georgia Tech 301-294-595
30. Loyola Marymount 300-312-612

Individual Results
1. Kyle Reifers, Wake Forest 65-70-135
2. Zach Bixler, Washington 70-68-138
2. Niklas Lemke, Arizona State 70-68-138
2. Pablo Martin, Oklahoma State 66-72-138
2. Jonathan Moore, Oklahoma State 68-70-138
6. Alejandro Canizares, Arizona State 73-66-139
6. Alex Prugh, Washington 67-72-139
6. Dusty Smith, Lamar 71-68-139
6. Andy Winings, Kentucky 70-69-139
10. James Lepp, Washington 69-71-140
10. Brett Stegmaier, Florida 73-67-140
10. Dawie Van der Walt, Lamar 70-70-140

Washington Scores
2. Zach Bixler 70-68-138
6. Alex Prugh 67-72-139
10. James Lepp 69-71-140
63. Erik Olson 75-71-146
149. Sterling Clark 75-82-157