Day 2 recap: Cal, UCLA still on top in NCAA men's golf regionals

Cal and UCLA continue to hold first place and Arizona State state jumped into a tie for fifth to put seven Pac-12 teams in a tie for fifth or better after the second day of the NCAA men's golf regionals. Cal, UCLA, USC, Washington, Stanford, Oregon and Arizona State are all currently on the cut line or better, while Arizona, Oregon State and Colorado can still fight their way back into a top-5 spot to advance to the NCAA Championships in Atlanta May 28-June 2.

Pullman Regional


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The Golden Bears have broken things open two-thirds of the way home in the Palouse. After both Cal and Saint Mary's shot record rounds on Thursday, the Bears continued to surge while the Gaels fell back to Earth. Cal put 14 strokes between itself and Saint Mary's (now in third place) to take an 11-stroke lead into the final round of action on Palouse Ridge. Maybe the Golden Bears (-35 after 36) don't have an individual golfer on top, but they do have four guys in the top 15: Michael Weaver (second, 12-under), Joël Stalter (third, 11-under), Michael Kim (tied for sixth, minus-7) and Brandon Hagy (tied for 12th, 6-under). Cal fans everywhere are probably knocking on wood at this thought, but the Golden Bears are likely to break an unofficial NCAA record for tournament victories. As long as Cal holds on tomorrow, it will get No. 11 for 2012-13. No wonder these guys were named Team of the Year at the Oskis:

[Related: Cal defends title, wins Pac-12 Championship]


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There was bound to be a lot of drop-off Friday for Sam Smith after tying a school-record with his 62 on Thursday, right? Not really. All Smith did was go 4-under on his first five holes and 4-under on his last five to card a 64. That leaves Smith at 18-under through 36, comfortably leading second-place Golden Bear Michael Weaver by six strokes. Uhhh, not too bad. I think it's safe to say he has a spot in Atlanta wrapped up, even if the Trojans don't finish in the top 5 (the top individual golfer from a non-qualifying team gets to go out of each regional). That shouldn't be an issue, though, because USC is in second place with 18 holes to go at 24-under, trailing just the aforementioned Golden Bears to make it a Pac-12-dominated Pullman Regional. The Trojans are on the right side of the cut line by 11 strokes, so it looks like it won't just be Smith making the trip. Another impressive Trojan has been Yi Keun Chang, who stayed steady at 6-under for the tournament and is now in a tie for 10th.

Tempe Regional


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Another day, another dominant round on Karsten Golf Course for the top-seeded Bru Cru. The Bruins didn't have the low round of the day (that would belong to Central Florida), but they now have an 11-stroke lead over the second-place Knights after a 7-under-273 put them at 19-under for the tournament. Arizona State sports information director Doug Tammaro summed it up best to me earlier today:

Pedro Figueiredo went a mini-golf-esque 64 today to climb into a tie for third at 5-under, while Anton Arboleda shot 1-under and Pontus Widegren carded a 72 to get to 4-under to round out the top 10 on the player leader board. When 20 golfers are under par for a 14-team tournament and all five of your guys are a part of that group, that usually means you're doing something right.

[Related: Complete men's golf regionals coverage at @ NCAA.com]


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Here come the Forks. After a 4-over-Thursday, Arizona State strolled in today ten strokes better at 274 (-6) to get under par for the tournament (-2) and leap into a tie for fifth with Duke. This seemed to be a key turning point on the day not only for Jon Rahm, but for the rest of the team as well:

 

Let's extrapolate on that a bit. The four golfers whose scores counted today went a combined plus-7 on the first four holes of their rounds (11-14). During the rest of the round, the foursome combined to shoot 13-under. They did their damage where they were supposed to, taking advantage of the two par-5s by shooting a combined 9-under on 14 and 17. Spencer Lawson and Max Rottluff are the two under-par Forks for the tournament and are in a tie for 17th at minus-1.


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It has been an uphill climb for Arizona, but the 'Cats did pretty well for themselves today by shooting 276 as a team to elevate themselves three spots to 10th, thanks to Erik Oja shining on day two. Arizona's 4-under was the fifth-best round today in the Tempe Regional, but the Wildcats have to make up another ten strokes to put themselves in consideration for a championship bid. Oja, Trent Redfern and Juan Pablo Hernandez all had under-par rounds for head coach Jim Anderson, and Oja's 2-under for the tournament has him in a tie for 13th along with UCLA's Jonathan Garrick and Texas A&M's Greg Yates. Couldn't get any Tammaro tweets concerning Wildcat golf-- but then again, how can you ask a Sun Devil to do such things?

Tallahassee Regional


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There's just something about the end of the round for Washington. After going 6-under for the final two holes yesterday, the Dawgs pulled this off:

 
 

That's 7-under on the final hole-- yeah. As such, and as you can glean from that tweet, the Dawgs shot a season-low 275 and had the best round of the day but remain in second place in the Tallahassee Regional, two strokes behind Osprey U (North Florida). That quintessential student-athlete Charlie Hughes had the best round of any golfer in the land of the Seminoles, finishing with a Friday 65 to put him at 8-under for the tournament and in a four-way tie for sixth. Two strokes better than him overall is Cheng-Tsung Pan, who shot his second consecutive 67 to finish Friday's round at 10-under, one stroke back of North Florida's MJ Maguire for first place on the player leader board. At 25-under for the tournament with a 13-stroke cushion above the cut line, it sure looks like the Huskies will be heading to their fifth NCAA Championships in the last six years.


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The Ducks will have to sweat it out a little more than their Pacific Northwest foes, but they're still in a good position to get on a flight to Atlanta. A second-round 282 (-6) left the Quacks at 14-under overall and in fourth place heading into holes 37-54. Oregon has a two-shot lead over Georgia Tech and South Florida, as both schools are at the cut line at 12-under (Oklahoma isn't far behind at 11-under either). Like the Huskies, the Ducks have two golfers in the top 10: Brandon McIver and Jonathan Woo are tied for sixth (along with the aforementioned Charlie Hughes of U-Dub) at 8-under. The highlight of the round was McIver's eagle on No. 9 to finish with a front-nine 32.

[Related: How to get Pac-12 Networks]


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On the dim side, Oregon State has a lot of catching up to do if it wants to continue golfing beyond tomorrow-- the Beavs are currently 13 strokes off the cut line. On the bright side, the Beavers shot 3-under today and jumped up two spots to eighth place with a 1-over 577 through 36 holes. All-conference golfer David Fink had another solid round, and his Friday 69 made him 5-under for the tournament and tied for 13th overall. Nick Sherwood was not to be outdone however, as he also shot 3-under on the day. As the Oregon State athletic department sees it, Fink and Sherwood went on a birdie barrage-- they had 13 between the two of 'em.

Columbus Regional


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Ya know how I said the scoreboard was crowded at the top yesterday in Ohio? Well that's child's play compared to the current situation, where the top-6 squads are separated by three strokes. Again, the Cardinal are in the thick of it after a 295 (+11) left them in a tie for third with Auburn at 18-over and just two strokes off the lead, currently held by UNLV and South Carolina. Texas Tech and New Mexico are tied for fifth at 19-over, so one of those six schools will be denied a championship appearance (unless someone from the bottom seven makes a jump, which appears unlikely). Only four fellas shot under par on the Scarlet Course today, and not one of them was a member of Nerd Nation. However, Patrick Rodgers has been consistent thus far with a 72 on each of the first two days, leaving the first-team All-Pac-12er in a tie for sixth at 2-over and just four shots off the lead. Should be some compelling golf on hand tomorrow in Columbus.

And hey, who knew Golfstat could be such a comedian?

Golfstat will be here, there and everywhere all day tomorrow, folks.

Fayetteville Regional


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The Blessings played much tougher for the vast majority of teams today, and Colorado was no exception. The Buffs started out Friday hanging around in sixth, but as David Oraee slid down the player leader board, so did the Buffs down the team leader board. When it was all said and done for the second round, the Buffs were 18 strokes higher than yesterday and fell three spots to ninth with a Friday 310 (+22) and 26-over for the tournament. This leaves the Buffs 11 strokes off the cut line, where Kent State currently resides just above it at 15-over. The 8-overs both shot by Oraee and Jason Burstyn were the main catalysts for the slide, leaving Derek Fribbs as the low man for the tourney at 3-over (he's tied for 22nd overall). Here's a look at the current top golfer for the Buffs:

There's still a lot of golf to be played in Arkansas, however, and at the very least, the Buffs were pumped to be back in the postseason.

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