UO Maintains Commanding Lead at Ka’anapali Classic
LAHAINA, Maui. – Despite facing adverse conditions on the Royal Ka’anapali Course Saturday afternoon, the No. 2 Oregon men’s golf team was able to weather the storm and shot 7-over 291. Not only were the Ducks able to maintain their 15-stroke lead, thanks to an NCAA record breaking 30-under 254 opening round, they extended it to 21 strokes after the conditions wreaked havoc on the 13-team field.
The Ducks also placed four players in the top five with Jonathan Woo taking over as the clubhouse leader at 7-under par.
UO shared the top score for the round with Georgia at 7-over 291, who jumped four spots to take sole possession of second place. The Ducks head into championship Sunday shooting 254-291–545 (-23) through two rounds, while the Bulldogs head into the final round of play 2-under 566. UGA is also the only other team in the tournament still under par.
“The course played different and as it’s supposed to play with the wind and rain,” said head coach Casey Martin. “It was a tough test today. We played fine, not great, but well enough to keep our lead.”
Freshman Hurly Long paced the Ducks on Saturday, with an even-par effort and jumped into a two-way tie for second with MJ Maguire of North Florida at 6-under 136.
“I’ve played a lot of golf in Great Britain and it’s a lot windier there,” said Long. “I’m just a bit more acclimated to the weather than the others.”
A day after firing in a whopping nine birdies, Woo turned in a 1-over 72 performance to take over as the clubhouse leader replacing Brandon McIver. McIver only dropped three spots and sits in a tie for fourth with freshman Aaron Wise despite shooting a 5-over 76 today.
Like Woo, Wise was able to manage the weather better than most of the field and jumped four spots thanks to his 1-over 72 card.
Zach Foushee struggled on the back stretch and dropped into a tie for tenth after carding a 6-over 77 on Saturday, but is still in the hunt with an overall score of 64-77—141 (-1).
What It Means: With a commanding 21-stroke lead heading into the final round of play Sunday, Oregon will look to capture its fourth straight title of the fall. The four victories would be a program best for the Ducks as well as become the only team in the NCAA to do so this fall.
Beyond the Scorecard: With adverse weather conditions all 13 teams in the tournament shot over par with Oregon and Georgia firing in the round lowest round scores at 7-over. Long (Oregon), Brett Rinker (Bowling Green), Miller Capps (Clemson) and Connor Peck (Kansas) were the only golfers to shoot even par while the rest of the 73-player field shot over par.
Odds and Ends: The course played much tougher today with an average score of 76.70, a six stroke difference from Friday’s average of 70.51...the back-nine was much harder to play with each hole averaging 24.78 bogies... the par-3, 155 yards No. 18 hole was the hardest with an average score of 3.86, and allowed just three birdies to 23 bogies and 13 double bogies... conversely, the par-5, 460 yards first hole was the easiest to play with an average score of 4.68...the Ducks had 20 bogies and three double-bogies today compared to just three bogies in round one...Oregon also only sank 13 birdies in the second round compared to the 30 on Friday.
Quoteworthy: “It’s always going to be tough when you go out and set an NCAA record the round before and then go out and play in the type of weather we did today,” said Martin.
The Ducks conclude play at the Ka’anapali Classic on Sunday at 10 a.m. (PT) on the par-71, 6,700 yards Royal Ka’anapali Course.