Bruins Two Shots Off the Lead at Pac-10 Championship

April 28, 2008

The fourth-ranked UCLA men's golf team was in third place, two strokes off the lead Monday, following two rounds of play at the 49th Pac-10 Men's Golf Championship at The Meadow Club in Fairfax, Calif.

When the dust had settled after a wild day at the Alister MacKenzie designed par 71 course, defending national champion Stanford had emerged as the 36-hole leader with a precarious one-shot lead over host Cal. The Cardinal was the only conference team that managed fairly consistent play, posting rounds of 350-357--707 (-3), Cal carded rounds of 346-362--708 (-2) and the Bruins were third at 709 (-1) following scores of 348-361.

But the biggest Jekyll and Hyde story belonged to defending conference champion USC, which blistered the course in the morning round with a score 338 (-17) only to balloon to 374 (+19) -- one of the worst scores of the day -- in the afternoon. After the first round, USC held an eight-shot lead. Still, at two-over par 712, the Trojans were fourth, and easily within striking distance on this course.

Arizona and Arizona State were fifth and sixth at 714 (+4) and 715 (+5), respectively, followed by Oregon State at 720 (+10) in seventh place and eighth place Oregon at 722 (+12). The Ducks, at one point during the day held the lead at six-under par.

Washington was ninth at 724 (+14), but had one player tied for the lead, and Washington State was 10th at 749 (+39).

Individually for the Bruins, senior Kevin Chappell was tied for first place at four-under par 138. In the afternoon round, Chappell was five-under par through the 16th hole before a bogey-bogey finish gave him a three-under par 68. He posted a one-under par 70 in the first round. Chappell was tied with Tze Huang Choo of Washington and Stanford All-American Rob Grube.

Junior Lucas Lee was tied for eighth at 140 (-2), following rounds of 67-73. His morning round included an eagle at the par 5 13th. His afternoon round featured birdies on his first two holes and bogeys on his last two.

Freshman Philip Francis was tied for 20th at 143 (+1). He posted a one-under par 70 in the first round that featured an eagle on the first hole. He remained at two-under par until he birdied the 12th and 13th to move to four-under. However, he played the 16th and 17th holes in three-over par. In the second round he shot 73 (+1) after rallying from a four-over par front side with two birdies on the back side.

Sophomore Jason Kang and senior Craig Leslie were tied for 25th at two-over par 144. Kang had rounds that mirrored each other. In the morning, he was one-over par at the turn before birdies at the Par 3 14th and Par 16th gave him a first round score of 70 (-1). In the afternoon, he was one-under after the outward nine, only to play the inward nine in three-over par, including a bogey-bogey finish.

In the first round, Leslie rallied from being three-over par through 11 with birdies at 13, 15 and 16 for an even par round of 71. In the afternoon, he was one-over following a birdie at the 15th, but bogeyed the 18th to finish with a 73 (+2).

Finally, junior Erik Flores provided the most entertainment of all. In the first round, he was three over par on the front nine, but recorded four birdies and two bogeys on the back side for a one-over par 72. In the afternoon, a double-bogey at the par 4 10th put him at two over par for the round. He got back to even par with an ace at the par 3 11th and managed to drop to one-under after a birdie at the 15th. But he played the final three holes in six-over par and stumbled home in 76 (+5). At 148 (+6), he was tied for 43rd.

The Pac-10 Championship is a 72-hole event with the final 36 holes to be played over the next two days.

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