JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (Oct. 12, 2013) – Despite seeing its seven-shot lead evaporate on Saturday, the ETSU men’s golf team is still in contention following second round play at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate at Blackthorn Club.
The Bucs, who rallied from a three-shot deficit to win the Wolfpack Intercollegiate on Tuesday, sit in fourth and are four shots back of leader Kent State.
A day after shooting the fourth lowest team score in the 16-year history of the tournament at 11-under-par 277, No. 50 ETSU carded a 3-over-par 291 in round two.
“We did some good things,” said head coach Fred Warren. “We just ran into a few mistakes. We hung in there and we’re still in it. We have a chance. Hopefully we can make up for it tomorrow.”
In a round that saw No. 15 Virginia fire the lowest round in tournament history, the 19th-ranked Golden Flashes held off the Cavaliers’ charge to jump into first. Virginia registered a 16-under 272, while Kent State went 9-under 279 and enters Sunday’s round in the lead at 12-under par 564. The Golden Flashes have a two-shot lead over No. 13 Virginia Tech and are three shots ahead of Virginia. The Cavaliers entered the day tied for 10th at 7-over 295.
ETSU was led by freshman Mateusz Gradecki (Oborniki Śląskie, Poland) as he fired his lowest score of his young collegiate career at 3-under 69 and is tied for sixth at 5-under 139. Gradecki had three birdies on the front nine and played the back nine at even-par after totaling two birdies and two bogeys. Junior Rhys Pugh (Pontypridd, Wales) sat atop the leaderboard after his 6-under 66 on Friday, but after shooting an even-par 72 Saturday, the Buccaneer moved into a tie for fourth with Tennessee’s Oliver Goss at 6-under 138.
“That’s my best tournament so far,” Gradecki said. “I’m starting to play a bit better. It was a rough start for me. It’s not easy to adjust so quickly. I just changed my clubs and I’m starting to feel really good.”
Virginia’s Derek Bard went from being tied for 15th to holding a share of the lead after tying for the lowest round in tournament history. Bard fired an 8-under 64, becoming just the third player to accomplish the feat and the first since Tennessee’s Chris Paisley put up a 64 in second round of the 2007 tournament.
Bard is tied with Virginia Tech’s Scott Vincent at 9-under 135. Vincent, the eighth-ranked player in the Golfweek rankings, shot a 4-under 68 on Saturday.
Sophomore Adrian Meronk (Wroclaw, Poland) went from being tied for sixth into an eight-way tie for 29th after finishing the round at 4-over 76. Meronk is 1-over for the tournament, while fellow sophomore Gudmundur Kristjansson (Reykjavik, Iceland) is tied for 50th. Kristjansson, who led the Bucs earlier in the week at the Wolfpack Intercollegiate, went 5-over on Saturday is 5-over 149 for the tournament.
The final round of the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate begins Sunday morning at 8:30, while the Bucs don’t tee off until 9:10. ETSU is paired with Tennessee and UNC Wilmington.
Once again, live scoring will be available via Golfstat.
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