NCAA Men's Golf Regionals: UCLA stays in fourth after second round

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Don Liebig/ASUCLA

Stanford's Brandon Wu leads the Stockton Regional after 36 holes to highlight the second round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Golf Regionals. Eight Pac-12 teams plus Utah's Blake Tomlinson and Washington's Carl Yuan and Henry Lee are competing for the right to advance to the NCAA Championships, which will take place May 25-30 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

The top five teams and top individual not on a top-five team from each regional will advance to the NCAA Championships. Heading into the final round, Stanford and UCLA are in top-five qualifying spots in their respective regionals.

Kissimmee (Florida) Regional- Watson Course at Reunion Resort


The Wildcats put forth another under-par round, shooting a 1-under 287 as a team on Tuesday and got into the clubhouse before lightning struck the area. There are still a couple of teams yet to finish their rounds, but the Wildcats look to be firmly entrenched in eighth place at 5-under with 18 holes remaining. Arizona is six strokes back of tied-for-fifth Colorado State, Vanderbilt and North Carolina for an NCAA Championships berth, so head coach Jim Anderson is going to need some low rounds from his boys on Wednesday.

George Cunningham, who entered Tuesday tied atop the leaderboard at 5-under, shot even par over his second round to remain at 5-under but drop into a tie for sixth and fall three shots off the lead. Cunningham was 2-over for his round after the 10th hole but birdied No. 11 and No. 14 to get back to even for the day. Trevor Werbylo had the lowest round of the day for the Wildcats with a 1-under 71 that has him in a tie for 23rd with fellow Wildcat Brad Reeves at 1-under for the regional.

Florida (-25) has a five-stroke lead over second-place Central Florida, while UCF's Kyler Tate, Florida's Andy Zhang and North Carolina's Austin Hitt are tied for first atop the player leaderboard at 8-under.

Raleigh Regional- Lonnie Poole Golf Course at NC State

Arizona State

The Sun Devils were under par for the day but couldn't keep pace with the top of the pack, as their 1-under 283 on Tuesday dropped them two spots to sixth place with 18 holes remaining. At -9 for the regional, Arizona State is two shots behind Liberty for the all-important No. 5 spot in Raleigh. 

Koichiro Ishika fought off an opening-hole double-bogey to card the lowest round of the day for Arizona State, posting a 4-under 67 to get to 4-under overall, good for a tie for 11th. Chun An Yu, who put down a 65 on his scorecard Monday, posted another red number with a 1-under 70 on Tuesday to dip slightly into a tie for sixth and five shots off the lead, held by Texas' Doug Ghim. The issue for Tuesday was that the Sun Devils had to count of pair of 2-over 73's for their team score.


The Golden Bears were one stoke worse for wear on Tuesday, posting a 1-over 285 to get to 1-over for the regional and remain in 11th place. Now 12 shots off NCAA Championships pace, the Golden Bears are probably looking at Wednesday being their final round as a team for the season. Crazier things have happened though...

K.K. Limbhasut was the most impressive Bear on Tuesday, shooting 69 (-2) to improve to 1-over for the regional. Ben Hogan Award finalist Collin Morikawa shot even par to remain at 3-under through 36 holes. He is currently tied for 14th.

Texas is dominating the Raleigh field with an 8-stroke lead over second-place North Carolina State.

Bryan (Texas) Regional- Traditions Golf Club


UCLA held steady at even par for the second consecutive day, good enough to keep the Bruins in fourth place. That's looking pretty good, as the Bruins are 11-strokes ahead of sixth-place South Carolina (+11), so they have plenty of breathing room heading into Wednesday.

Devon Bling was the low Bruin on Tuesday, carding a 3-under 69 to match teammate Cole Madey at 2-under for the regional (tied for 11th). Madey shot 1-over for the day, while Tyler Collier shot even improve upon a 5-over 77 on his opening round.

Host Texas A&M (-18) is one stroke ahead of Clemson for first place, while the Aggie pair of Chandler Phillips and Brandon Smith are tied for first on the player leaderboard at 8-under.

Stockton Regional- The Reserve at Spanos Park


Stanford crept up the leaderboard by one spot to fourth after firing a 5-under 283 to get to 8-under through 36 holes. The Cardinal doesn't have much cushion, as fifth-place TCU is at 7-under and there are a couple of Pac-12 squads at 4-under that are tied for sixth (more on them later), but Stanford is looking good so far.

What's helping the Cardinal cause? Junior Brandon Wu, who holds the 36-hole lead at 10-under after notching his second straight 67. After shooting 2-under on the back nine (he started on 10), the first team All-Pac-12 performer birdied four straight holes to start his final nine holes and only a bogey on the par-4 seventh brought him back down to 5-under for the round. Additionally, Isaiah Salinda was three strokes better Tuesday in Stockton, carding a 71 to get to 2-over for the tournament, matching teammate's Franklin Huang's 36-hole effort.


The Ducks had a solid Tuesday, shooting 5-under to get to 4-under for the tournament and in a tie for sixth with Pac-12 compadre Colorado. If it wasn't for back-to-back double bogeys on Edwin Yi's eighth and ninth holes of the day (17 and 18), it could have really been a good day for the Ducks, as Yi steadied himself on the front nine, his last nine of the day, to shoot even par. He was 4-under through seven holes. That said, the story of the Ducks' day was again Norman Xiong, who fired a bogey-free 67 to stay one stroke behind Wu of Stanford. Xiong, who has second place all to himself, recorded six birdies. Kevin Geniza and Donald Kay also recorded par rounds for the Ducks.


After shooting 2-over for the first round as a team, the Buffs cranked it up a notch to shoot 6-under on Tuesday and hop into a tie for sixth with Oregon. The Ducks and Buffs are both looking up at fifth-place TCU, which is three shots ahead of the duo at 7-under.

Yannik Paul, tied for 10th, and Daniel O'Loughlin, tied for 18th, each shot 3-under 69, while Spencer Painton carded a 2-under 70 to bolster the Buffs' cause. O'Loughlin got it rolling on the back nine, ripping four birdies and an eagle after a 1-over front nine. Another trio of rounds like the ones Paul, O'Loughlin and Painton had, combined with a better fourth-best round (John Souza had the final score that counted for the Buffs' team score at 2-over), and the Buffs could very well punch a ticket to Stillwater to join their friends on the Colorado women's golf team.


It was a lot better for the Pac-12 champions on Tuesday, as they were 11 strokes better as a team compared to Monday with a 4-under 284, but it might not be enough. USC is 3-over for the regional, moving up two spots to 10th place but still 10 shots behind TCU for the fifth and final NCAA Championships qualifying spot out of Stockton. 

Cheng Jin's 4-under 68 was the best round of the day for USC. He is now 4-under for the regional and tied for 10th. Meanwhile, Issei Tanabe bounced back from a triple-bogey on 17 to get to 1-under for the day. Pac-12 individual champion Justin Suh was one stroke better on Tuesday, shooting even par to remain at 1-over after 36 holes.


The Husky duo of Henry Lee and Carl Yuan cooled down considerably on Tuesday. Both registered over-par rounds to drop out of the top 25. Lee shot 2-over to drop back to even par and fall into a tie for 26th, while Yuan, who was in first place after his first 16 holes on Monday, shot 5-over to slip to 1-over for the regional.


Consistency has been the name of the game so far for Utah's Blake Tomlinson. Henotched his second straight 70 to get to 4-under for the regional. That has him in a tie for 10th and puts him in contention for an NCAA Championships berth. At the moment, Tomlinson is five strokes behind the top individual on a non-top five team (Oregon's Norman Xiong), but if Oregon jumps into the top five, Tomlinson is only three shots behind TCU's Hayden Springer. That assumes the Horned Frogs are the team Oregon knocks out, if it happens at all. Regardless, Tomlinson has a chance one way or another to punch his ticket to the big dance.

Alabama and Iowa State are tied for first at 14-under in the Stockton Regional heading into the final round.

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