May 27, 2017
Sugar Grove, Ill. – The No. 18 Virginia men’s golf team took advantage of favorable course conditions and an early-morning tee time to move up to 10th place following the second round of competition at the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships.
The Cavaliers finished their first round at even par 288 and shot 5-under 283 during their second round for a two-day total of 5-under 571. UVA’s second round score tied as the sixth best of the round.
By virtue of placing in the top half of the 30-team field after 36 holes of play, UVA will start its third round on Sunday morning and the Cavaliers hope to avoid rain and windy conditions expected at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill., on Sunday afternoon.
At the conclusion of the third round, the field will be cut and the top 15 teams will advance to a final round of medal play to determine the eight teams that will advance to the match play portion of the championship.
Due to two weather delays that suspended play for just over three hours, Virginia was not able to complete its first round on Friday and had to return to the course for a 6:30 a.m. start on Saturday. Conditions were perfect with no winds and the greens were soft as a result of the heavy rains that fell the previous afternoon.
With players having completed between eight and 10 holes, UVA started Saturday at 7-over and in 23rd place. By the time they competed the round, they had moved up to 10th place with a first-round score of even par 288.
No player was hotter for UVA on Saturday morning than junior Danny Walker (Brandenton, Fla.). After closing out his last two holes Friday with back-to-back birdies, Walker made four birdies over his first six holes and finished his round at 1-under 71.
“I was just trying to continue the success I had at the end of the round yesterday,” Walker said. “The conditions helped a lot. We had a fresh day. We had some easier holes at the start and made some birdies and kept it going.”
Walker, along with senior Jimmy Stanger, who used-back-to-back birdies on his 12th and 13th holes to finish his round at 2-under 70, gave UVA the momentum it needed.
“Danny is an explosive player and he always has been,” said head coach Bowen Sargent. “He has the ability to make five or six or eight birdies in a round. He’s done that a lot. He hit one of those runs there today which was pretty cool. We needed it. I think that provided a pretty good spark to us this afternoon.”
Senior Derek Bard (New Hartford, N.Y.) was the Hoos’ catalyst during the second round. After making a four-putt bogey on the par-5 second hole, he settled down and finished the round at 4-under 68.
“We knew it was going to play easier,” Bard said about the team’s play on Saturday. “Yesterday was such a tough day with the starts and stops and everything. With the way the weather played out, both waves kind of balanced out.
“We definitely got the better end of the stick playing 27 this morning in this. We knew we had to come out and be aggressive because we struggled a bit yesterday. We knew we had to come out and turn it around and we did.”
Bard and Stanger finished the day tied for 19th place at 3-under 141. Stanger followed up his first-round 70 with a 71 during his second 18 holes.
“We can’t go where we want to go without those two guys playing well,” Sargent said of his seniors. “They know it, I know it and they responded. It was nice to see those guys step up and do what they wanted to do.”
Sophomore Thomas Walsh (High Point, N.C.) matched Bard for the most improved play between rounds. After shooting 2-over 74 during his first round, he rebounded with a 3-under 69. Walsh enters Sunday’s play in 41st place.
Walker posted a 75 during his second round and is in 75th place at 2-over 146. Freshman Luke Schaap (Potomac, Md.) had rounds of 75 and 81 and is 147th at 156.
No. 16 UNLV holds the team lead after 36 holes at 14-under 562. No. 17 Oklahoma is second at 563 and No. 8 Illinois is third at 565. Texas’ Scottie Scheffler holds the individual lead at 8-under 136. He is just one shot ahead of four players tied for second place.
Bard said the key to advancing through the third round is a steady and consistent approach.
“We just have to keep doing what we are doing,” Bard said. “We can’t think about being score oriented. We just have to play it shot-by-shot and stay in the present. Obviously this round should give us confidence going forward. We kind of lit it up today and we know we can do that. We just have to do that again tomorrow to be safe on the 15 number.”
UVA will be paired with Florida State and Texas during the third round. They will begin play from the 10th tee.
Rich Harvest Farms
Sugar Grove, Ill.
Par 72, 7,300 yards
Second Round Results
Team Results 1. UNLV 283-279-562 2. Oklahoma 284-279-563 3. Illinois 282-283-565 4. Auburn 282-284-566 4. Vanderbilt 278-288-566 6. USC 284-283-567 7. LSU 291-277-568 7. Baylor 288-280-568 9. Oklahoma State 282-287-56910. Virginia 288-283-57111. Florida State 289-285-57412. Texas 293-283-57612. Oregon 294-282-57614. Iowa State 293-285-57814. UCF 294-284-57816. Stanford 293-287-58016. Alabama 287-293-58016. North Carolina 293-287-58019. Pepperdine 289-293-58219. Kent State 289-293-58221. Arizona State 290-293-58322. Mississippi 287-299-58623. Duke 298-292-59023. Jacksonville 294-296-59025. Lipscomb 300-291-59126. New Mexico 297-295-59227. Penn State 301-292-59327. Purdue 298-295-59329. Kennesaw State 297-300-59730. Clemson 313-285-598
Individual Leaders1. Scottie Scheffler, Texas 68-68-1362. Braden Thornberry, Mississippi 66-71-1372. Matthias Schwab, Vanderbilt 67-70-1372. Justin Suh, USC 67-70-1372. Bjarki Petursson, Kent State 68-69-137
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