SAN DIEGO, Calif. (May 15, 2015) – Facing rainy conditions in San Diego, the ETSU men’s golf team moved from second to fourth-place on the leaderboard, while junior Gudmundur Kristjansson (Reykjavik, Iceland) continued to pace the 39th-ranked Buccaneers in Friday’s second round of the NCAA Regional from The Farms Golf Club.
The Buccaneers, who began the day five shots back of team-leading Oklahoma, posted a 6-over 294 on Friday and sit 7-over-par 583 for the tournament, while the 14th-ranked Sooners extended their lead to a commanding 22 strokes. Following its 4-under in Thursday’s opening round, Oklahoma went low again by registering a 13-under 275, moving its two-round total to 17-under-par 559.
“We had an up and down day. We did a lot of good things, but made some mistakes that hurt us,” said head coach Fred Warren. “Gudmundur played another solid round and Rhys bounced back to help us out. Also, Mateusz finished well on the back nine as he had birdies on both par 3s after hitting 5-irons. It’s a little encouraging to be in contention – not counting Adrian's score – as he’s our cornerstone. Tomorrow will be exciting and we are looking forward to playing.”
Arizona State and Georgia Tech charged up the leaderboard as they are in second and third-place, respectively. The third-ranked Sun Devils began the day in ninth, but moved behind Oklahoma after firing a 7-under 281 and have a two-round total of 5-over-par 581. Meanwhile, the 10th-ranked Yellow Jackets are 6-over-par 582 following their 5-under 283 on Friday and No. 29 Georgia moved from 12th to fifth as the Bulldogs are 9-over-par 585. The Bulldogs carded 10-under 278 in the second round. Virginia, the 25th-ranked team in the country, is in sixth-place at 11-over-par 587, while Idaho is right behind at 12-over-par 588.
The top five teams following Saturday’s final round advance to the NCAA Championship, which is held May 29-June 3 at Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla.
Kristjansson led the Blue and Gold for the second straight day as the ETSU junior recorded a 1-under 71 and enters the final round three shots back of the leader at 4-under-par 140. Kristjansson totaled two birdies and two bogeys on the front nine, and was even-par before sinking his final birdie putt on the par-4, 472-yard 17th.
Arizona State’s and No. 2-ranked Jon Rahm, fueled the Sun Devils’ run as the junior golfer went from being tied for 13th into sole possession of first place after firing an 8-under 64 and is 7-under-par 137 for the tournament. Rahm takes a two-shot lead into the final round, as Oklahoma’s Michael Gellerman and Max McGreevy are both at 5-under-par 139.
Following a rough start in the opening round, senior Rhys Pugh (Pontypridd, Wales) bounced back with a 1-over 73, while junior Chris Hickman (Centreville, Md.) and sophomore Mateusz Gradecki’s (Oborniki Slaskie, Poland) both totaled a 3-over 75 on Friday. Pugh started the day birdying three of his first four holes, but combined to play No. 5 and 6 at 5-over before a birdie on the par-5, 489-yard No. 9 moved him to 1-over on the front nine. The Welshman got back to even-par following a birdie on the par-3, 141-yard No. 14, but walked away with a bogey on No. 15 to finish with his 73. Gradecki is tied for 34th (5-over-par 149) and Hickman is tied for 48th (7-over-par 151).
Unfortunately, after beginning the day in the top-five, junior Adrian Meronk (Wroclaw, Poland) moved into a tie for 28th at 4-over-par 148. Meronk finished with a 6-over 78 in round two.
The Bucs are paired with Georgia and Virginia in Saturday’s final round. The first group tees off at 11:20 (EDT).
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