Taylor Tied For Second Heading Into NCAA Final Round
May 30, 2008
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Washington sophomore Nick Taylor continued his stellar play at the NCAA Div. I Men's Golf Championships, Friday, carding a third-round score of 1-over 73 to sit in a tie for second place on the individual leaderboard heading into Saturday's final round.
Third round action, however, was suspended due to weather at 5:55 p.m. EST with 15 of the 30 teams still needing to complete their rounds at Purdue's Birck Boilermaker Golf Club. The Huskies, teeing off in the morning wave, got their round in, shooting 19-over 307. Washington sits in ninth place on the team leaderboard at 38-over 902 and appears to be in solid position for making the 15-team cut that will determine which teams move on to the final round on Saturday. The completion of the third round will take place prior to the fourth round tomorrow.
Taylor sits in striking distance of becoming the second Husky to win a NCAA individual title. He is tied for second with Clemson's Kyle Stanley at 2-under 214 and the pair is just four shots behind leader Kevin Chappell of UCLA who is 6-under 210. Chappell had the low round of the day with a 4-under 68.
'Nick was so consistent all day and when you have a guy that's going to be on par it keeps your team in it,' UW head coach Matt Thurmond said. 'He didn't miss any fairways I don't think. He's just going to continue to be Nick and keep doing what he's doing. He's got a really good shot to win this tomorrow.'
The Huskies started the day in sixth place, but fell back to ninth with their highest score of the tournament so far. For the second-straight day, freshman Tze Huang Choo turned in the second-best score for UW with a 4-over 76. He is tied for 85th at 16-over 232, but has rebounded nicely since shooting a first-round score of 12-over 84. Senior Zach Bixler shot 5-over 77 and is tied for 43rd (11-over 227).
The Huskies are 14 shots behind leader UCLA (24-over 888). USC and Clemson are tied for second (27-over 891) with defending NCAA champion Stanford in fourth (29-over 893).
'For what it was today, we didn't by any means embarrass ourselves,' Thurmond said. 'The guys really competed hard. It's a super tough course in tough conditions. I think you'd always like to play better but we're going to be okay. We're still not going to be too far out of it going into tomorrow.'
Taylor, whose second-round score of 6-under 66 still stands as the tournament low, tallied two birdies and three bogies on the day, and stood as low as 2-under par through the first seven holes.
'I hit the ball really well today, at least with my driver,' Taylor said. 'I think I hit almost every fairway. I started pretty well, I birded 12 which is one of the hardest holes and chipped in on 16 so that got me started off well. Seventeen and 18 were playing really hard and I bogied both of them. Five was playing hard and I bogied that. I had some birdie putts on the back nine but just didn't make them. It was tough to make them with the wind.'
Although battling windy conditions in the morning, the Huskies were not affected by the severe weather that wreaked havoc in West Lafayette late in the day. Play was halted at 4:15 p.m. EST due to lightning and resumed again at 4:55. Then play was finally suspended for the day at 5:55 p.m. The area was hit with severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings through the evening. A tornado was a reported about nine miles northeast of Lafayette at about 7:30 p.m. EST.
Among those teams still needing to complete their rounds are Louisville who sits in 10th place at 39-over, San Diego State at 40-over (12th) and Auburn at 45-over (14th). Only the top-15 teams and top six individuals not on those teams advance through to the final round of the NCAA Championships. Tee times for Saturday are still to be announced.
2008 NCAA DIVISION I MEN'S GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS
Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex; West Lafayette, Ind.
Par 72; 7,450 yards
Third Round Leaderboard* - Top 15 Teams
*Round halted due to weather; will continue Saturday
1. UCLA 297-293-298-888 (+24)
2. USC 297-294-300-891 (+27)
2. Clemson 301-288-302-891 (+27)
4. Stanford 309-288-296-893 (+29)
5. Oklahoma State 298-296-301-895 (+31)
6. Florida 302-291-306-899 (+35)
7. Kent State 301-297-302-900 (+36)
8. Georgia 303-293-305-901 (+37)
9. Washington 305-290-307-902 (+38)
10. Louisville* 311-296-607 (+39)
10. Alabama 309-297-297-903 (+39)
12. San Diego State* 310-303-613 (+40)
13. Charlotte 306-295-306-907 (+43)
14. Auburn* 306-304-610 (+45)
14. Texas A&M 309-294-306-909 (+45)
Third Round - Top Five Individuals
1. Kevin Chappell, UCLA 69-73-68-210 (-6)
2. Kyle Stanley, Clemson 72-68-74-214 (-2)
2. Nick Taylor, Washington 75-66-73-214 (-2)
4. Billy Horschel, Florida 72-67-76-215 (-1)
5. Tim Sluiter, USC 70-73-73-216 (E)