Kohles' Hot Hand Leads UVa Golfers During Second Round of NCAA Regional
Ann Arbor, MI – Led by senior Ben Kohles, the Virginia men’s golf team finished the second day of play at the NCAA Central Regional in Ann Arbor, Mich., in fifth place. The Cavaliers need to remain in the top five after Saturday’s final round to advance to the NCAA Championships May 29 to June 3 at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
The Cavaliers shot 3-under 281 Friday for a 36-hole total of even par 568.
Top-seeded USC, ranked No. 6 nationally, leads the 13-team field at 7-under 561 after shooting 12-under Friday. Three teams, including second-seeded Oregon, are tied for second at 6-under 562. The seventh-ranked Ducks shot 10-under 274 during the second round. Virginia, seeded fourth, is one shot ahead of Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish managed a second round score of 6-under 278 to climb back into contention for a spot to the national tournament.
“We gave up a little ground today, but we’re still in the top five which is where you want to be,” said Virginia coach Bowen Sargent. “The good news is that we can still win this thing. We’re not that far behind the leaders. But at the same time, we’re hanging on the ledge in terms of making it to nationals or not. Tomorrow will be pressure packed and we’ll need to play a great round.”
Kohles posted a second round score of 6-under 65 to move up to a tie for third place on the leaderboard at 6-under 136. He is one shot behind co-leaders Julien Brun of TCU and Albin Choi of NC State.
Kohles started his round with three consecutive birdies and added a fourth on the sixth hole. He collected his only bogey on the seventh hole before carding three more birdies on the back nine. His 65 matched his low round of the year and ranks as his best score in four years of NCAA Regional play.
“When Ben is on his game like he was today, he’s as good as anyone playing college golf,” Sargent said. “He was really big for us. He kept us in the hunt with some great golf today. He showed why he’s a two-time ACC player of the year. That was a great performance by a senior today.”
UVa senior Bruce Woodall is in 19th place at even par 142. Woodall played his first nine holes at 1-over before an up-and-down back nine. He birdied holes 10 and 11, posted back-to-back bogeys on 12 and 13, birdied 14, double-bogeyed 15, made a par on 16 and then finished with a bogey and birdie.
Denny McCarthy shot 3-over 74 and dropped back to 30th place at 145. Ben Rusch posted a round of 1-under 70 and improved to 38th at 147. Ji Soo Park shot 73 and is in 46th position at 149.
The Cavaliers will tee off starting at 7:50 a.m. during Saturday’s final round. They will be paired with TCU and Notre Dame. Live scoring of the tournament is online at Golfstat.com.
NCAA Central Regional Championship
University of Michigan Golf Course
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Par-71, 6,723 yards
Second Round Results
1. USC 288-272-561
2. Oregon 288-274-562
2. Kent State 286-276-562
2. TCU 278-284-562
5. Virginia 287-281-568
6. Notre Dame 291-278-569
7. NC State 290-282-572
8. Oklahoma State 290-283-573
9. Kennesaw State 287-290-577
10. Purdue 291-293-584
11. Baylor 296-297-593
12. Ohio State 305-297-602
13. Navy 322-306-628
1. Albin Choi, NC State 69-68-135
1. Julien Brun, TCU 67-66-135
3. Ben Kohles, Virginia 71-65-136
3. Daniel Miernicki, Oregon 71-65-136
3. Anthony Paolucci, USC 67-69-136
3. Patrick Winther, Oklahoma State 70-66-136
3. Ben Kohles 71-65-136
19. Bruce Woodall 69-73-142
30. Denny McCarthy 71-74-145
38. Ben Rusch 77-70-147
46. Ji Soo Park 76-73-149