NCAA men's golf regionals: ASU, Oregon seize moving day opportunities
Moving day at the NCAA men's golf regionals brought plenty of good news for Pac-12 schools, putting them in solid positions entering Saturday’s final round.
Arizona State, with a solid 285 on day two, six shots better than yesterday, finds itself on the brink of a championship berth. The Sun Devils lead sixth place Iowa State by three strokes heading into Saturday. Matt Rottluff led ASU, shooting a blistering 67 (-5), following yesterday's 71 (-1). Broc Johnson also helped the pace, shooting a 69.
Colorado, which yesterday was inside the Auburn regional top five, had a rough day, shooting a 299 – yet sits just three shots off the pace behind Texas and BYU. David Oraee saved the Buffaloes Friday, shooting a 73 (+1), to offset rough days from Ethan Freeman and Yannik Paul, who combined to go 21 over par.
Oregon made the biggest jump of the day, shooting an even par 280, jumping into 3rd place, with a 10-shot cushion over its nearest competitor, South Carolina. Zach Foushee sits at 1-under through 36 holes, after shooting 70 (-2) Friday – and trails only Patrick Rodgers of Stanford. Brandon Mclver shot 1-under on Friday as well, and is just 2-over for the tournament.
Stanford fell back to earth a bit Friday after scorching Eugene Country Club on Thursday, when they posted a 4-under 276. They still hold a nine-shot lead over Oklahoma, despite shooting a 282 Friday. Rodgers, the top-ranked amateur in the country, is showing why, shooting 68-69 so far, and looks to wrap up individual honors on Saturday.
In San Antonio, the Bruins find themselves in a dogfight, tied for 5th place with TCU and Georgia Southern after two days at 578. Jonathan Garrick (-1) and Lorens Chan (E) have led UCLA so far, with Matt Pinizzotto bouncing back from a rough Thursday (76) to shoot 70 on day two. This is the strongest region, with three teams (Georgia, Vanderbilt, SMU) all under par.
In Sugar Grove, Ill., the California Golden Bears sit in 4th place after day two – at 17 over par. Teams have struggled mightily through two days, with UAB leading the way at 584, eight shots over par. The second round was delayed due to weather, but the Bears improved 17 shots on the day after opening with a 305. They were led by Joel Stalter's 71, with Brandon Hagy and Michael Weaver shooting even par 72. California holds a one-shot lead over conference rival USC.
Southern Cal also was markedly improved over Thursday, shooting a 292 Friday, 10 shots better than its opening round. USC heads into Saturday with a thee-shot cushion on Purdue for the final spot. Thanks to Rico Hoey's 70 and Anthony Paolucci's 73, the Trojans stayed in the fifth spot, while other teams fell by the wayside.
Also delayed by weather in Raleigh, N.C., Washington has been the model of consistency, opening with two rounds of 278 – and still getting destroyed by first-place Georgia Tech, who is running away with the whole thing. Johnathan Sanders is 7-under through 36 holes, and along with Trevor Simsby (-5), have the Huskies poised to make an NCAA championship run. The Huskies are 14 strokes clear of falling under the cut line. If their first two rounds show anything, they're not going anywhere Saturday.