Strong Start Has Ducks In Third at Pac-12s
SANTA ROSA, Calif. – Led by a stellar day from freshman Yuki Moriyama, Oregon sits in third place at 15 under following the first two rounds of the Pac-12 Championships Monday at Mayacama Golf Club.
Moriyama is 10-under par and one shot off the lead in second place alone after shooting rounds of 65 and 69. The Ducks turned in a strong second round as a team, shooting 10 under while all five counting scores were under par.
"It was great to see the kids play so well today," said head coach Casey Martin. "Yuki was awesome and really played well, but it's only halftime. We've got two more rounds to go and we need to stay on top of it."
How It Happened – Round 1: Moriyama began his day with a bogey, but immediately turned it around with back-to-back birdies at two and three to get into red numbers. After a couple of pars he again made birdies on consecutive holes, this time at six and seven to make the turn at 3 under. Moriyama played bogey free on the back nine, making a birdie at the par-3 11th before tying the lead with an eagle at 15. He closed with a birdie on the par-5 18th to vault into the solo lead after 18 holes.
Owen Avrit turned in an impressive opening round of his own, shooting a bogey-free 4-under 68. He made nine pars going out, then kicked into gear on the back nine, making birdies at 10 and 13 to reach 2 under. Avrit then birdied the two par 5s on the homeward half, picking up shots at 15 and the closing hole to move into the top five.
Tom Gueant shot a 1-over 73 with a pair of birdies and three bogeys in his round, while Nate Stember turned in a 2-over 74 highlighted by a birdie at the par-5 18th. Craig Ronne delivered the fifth and final counting score with a 3-over 75.
Round 2: Greg Solhaug got off to a red-hot start, making four straight birdies from holes two through five to get back to even par for the tournament. He cooled off after back-to-back bogeys around the turn at nine and 10, but came back with a birdie at 13 to go to 3 under. Solhaug then went bogey, birdie at 15 and 16 before closing with a couple of pars to shoot a 3-under 69.
Moriyama continued his strong play into round two, starting with back-to-back birdies to reach 9 under overall. He went on to make a bogey and a birdie with five pars the rest of the way on the front nine to go out in 2-under 35. Moriyama got to 4 under after birdies at 10 and 11 but double bogeyed 12 to drop back to 2 under. He again made consecutive birdies at 14 and 15 before bogeying 17 to finish with a 3-under 69.
Stember turned in a solid round of his own, shooting a 2-under 70 to get back to even for the tournament. He shot 1 under on both nines, making birdies at three of the par 5s highlighted by one at the 15th hole to get back to 2 under for the round.
Gueant and Ronne each shot a 1-under 71 to turn in the fourth and fifth counting scores for the Ducks. Ronne was 2 over through 11 but finished strong by making three birdies in his final seven holes to get back into red numbers while Gueant used back-to-back birdies at 14 and 15 to get back under par for the round.
Ducks On The Leaderboard:
3. Oregon – 355-350 – 705 (-15)
2. Yuki Moriyama – 65-69 – 134 (-10)
T27. Tom Gueant – 73-71 – 144 (E)
T27. Nate Stember – 74-70 – 144 (E)
T27. Owen Avrit – 68-76 – 144 (E)
T33. Greg Solhaug – 76-69 – 145 (+1)
T36. Craig Ronne – 75-71 – 146 (+2)
Notable: Moriyama's 65 in the opening round is the lowest by a Duck at the Pac-12 Championships since Aaron Wise shot a 65 in the first round of the 2015 tournament … The 65 also marked a career-low for the freshman … It's also the first time Moriyama has turned in back-to-back rounds in the 60s, giving him four total on the year … Solhaug set a career-low with his 69 in round two … Avrit's 68 in round one was his lowest since the third round of the season … Oregon led the field in par-3 scoring average over the first two rounds at 2.95.
Up Next: The Ducks get underway in the third round of the Pac-12 Championships Tuesday starting at 11:06 a.m.