Cavalier Golfers Rebound in Second Round of NCAA Championships
Pacific Palisades, Calif. – The No. 16 Virginia men’s golf team had a much better performance during the second round of the NCAA Championships, shooting 8-over 292. The Cavaliers showed a 14-shot improvement over their first-round effort. UVa enters Thursday’s final round of stroke play at 30-over 598 and tied for 23rd with TCU and East Carolina.
Following the third round the top eight teams will advance to head-to-head match play to decide the NCAA Champion. The individual medalist will be crowned following stroke play.
Alabama, ranked second, continues to lead the 30-team field at 4-over 572. UCLA is in second place at 576. Illinois’ Thomas Pieters enters the final round atop the leaderboard for the individual title at 5-under 137. UCLA’s Anton Arboleda and Florida’s Tyler McCumber are in second place at 139.
Denny McCarthy, the ACC Freshman of the Year, led Virginia Wednesday with a 1-under 70. His round included two birdies and a single bogey on the challenging Riviera Country Club course in Pacific Palisades, Calif. McCarthy’s two-day total stands at 7-over 149.
“He has a good short game and he showed that off today,” said Virginia coach Bowen Sargent. “I think he hit 12 greens. He played pretty solid and put the ball in the right spots and missed it in the right spots. He got up-and-down when he needed to. He really played very solid all the way from one through 18.
McCarthy said that better course management in the second round helped him improve nine shots between rounds.
“If you don’t hit the ball well around here you are going to be struggling,” McCarthy said. “Chipping from around these greens is really difficult.
“This course, it’s all about ball striking. You have to hit fairways and you have to hit greens and I did that today. You have to be really disciplined and you have to be willing to put the ball in the middle of the greens and putt to the corners. You have to take your chances when you can. When you have short clubs in your hands, that’s when you can attack some of these pins.”
Both Sargent and his players noted there was a dramatic difference in playing conditions between their opening round, when they did not tee off until 2:40 p.m. and Wednesday, when they went out at 8:40 a.m.
“The greens were so much bumpier in the afternoon than they were today,” Sargent said. “Today they were actually pretty smooth. You could hit putts. You were holding your lines. The course conditions were much easier in the morning than yesterday afternoon.”
UVa’s top player on the leaderboard heading into the final round is senior Bruce Woodall. He followed up Tuesday’s opening score of 71 with a 4-over 75. Ben Kohles shot 3-over 74 and had as 36-hole total of 152. Freshman Ji Soo Park posted a round of 2-over 73 for a total of 154. Ben Rusch shot 7-over 78 for the second consecutive day and stands at 156.
Entering the final round, Woodall is in 37th place, McCarthy is 69th, Kohles is 104th, Park is 124th and Rusch is 138th.
The Cavaliers will tee off at 8:40 a.m. PT during the third round and be paired with Stanford and TCU.
“We need a low round to make match play but I don’t know that one is out there,” Sargent said. “We would probably have to shoot eight, nine or 10 under to make match play. I think our goal now is to go out and have a solid day and try and make the top 15. After our first round, I think that would be a great accomplishment.”
Riviera Country Club
Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Par-71, 7,292 yards
Second Round Results
1. Alabama 285-287-572
2. UCLA 289-287-576
3. Florida State 290-290-580
4. Oklahoma 289-292-581
4. North Florida 290-291-581
6. Washington 296-286-582
7. Liberty 295-288-583
8. California 295-289-584
8. Kent State 293-291-584
8. Florida 288-296-584
8. USC 298-286-584
8. Illinois 295-289-584
13. Texas 290-295-585
13. Oregon 291-294-585
15. San Diego State 292-295-587
15. Auburn 288-299-587
17. UCF 290-298-588
18. Iowa 290-299-589
19. Georgia 295-298-593
20. Chattanooga 299-295-594
20. Texas A&M 298-296-594
22. Stanford 293-302-595
23. Virginia 306-292-598
23. TCU 299-299-598
23. East Carolina 295-303-598
26. UAB 297-303-600
27. Virginia Tech 299-302-601
27. Memphis 299-302-601
29. Lamar 299-303-602
30. Tulsa 306-307-613
1. Thomas Pieters, Illinois 69-68-137
2. Anton Arboleda, UCLA 67-72-139
2. Tyler McCumber, Florida 68-71-139
4. Justin Thomas, Alabama 70-70-140
5. Chase Marinell, Liberty 71-70-141
5. Patrick Rodgers, Stanford 69-72-141
5. Cory Whitsett, Alabama 73-68-141
37. Bruce Woodall 71-75-146
69. Denny McCarthy 79-70-149
104. Ben Kohles 78-74-152
124. Ji Soo Park 81-73-154
138. Ben Rusch 78-78-156