May 19, 2006
TUCSON, Ariz. - Teeing off in an afternoon full of swirling winds at the Omni Tucson National Golf Course Friday, the Santa Clara men's golf team struggled on the links, shooting a combined 302 to fall into 23rd place in the 27-team NCAA West Regional.
Santa Clara will hit the links beginning at 12:29 p.m. Saturday afternoon for the tournament's final round. The Bronco quintet will tee off in a group with Denver and Louisville.
The 17th-seeded Broncos got off to a rough start, picking up a few early bogeys in the first five holes to put themselves in an early hole. Collectively the quintet managed only four birdies before the turn, forcing them to play more aggressively on the final nine.
"We'd like to be playing in the morning, it was a tough day for us," said head coach Robert Miller. "Guys hit the ball well but we just couldn't get the ball in the hole. We had a tough time putting."
Tim Lynch paced the Broncos on Friday, shooting even-par on the course's front nine on his way to a two-over 74 for the day. Michael Nicoletti and Eric Lillibridge followed up with scores of 75 and 76, respectively, battling the winds and tough putts throughout the day. John Colyar shot a second-round 77 and Jong Yoon finished up with a 79.
"It was kind of an up and down day," said Lillibridge. "I had a lot of good opportunities for birdies and I didn't capitalize. Yesterday, I relied on the putter a lot but today the putting wasn't there. I think the course played a few shots harder today, especially in the afternoon with the winds, but there are no excuses."
Tournament host Arizona gained the lead heading into Saturday's final round, shooting a 273 to give them a two-round total of 552 (-24). North Carolina State matched the Wildcats' 273, but remains three strokes off the pace along with first-round leader Florida at 21-under 555.
Utah's Dustin Pimm continues to lead the individual competition for the second-straight day. Pimm followed up his first-round 66 with a 68 on Friday, putting him at 10-under for the tournament. North Carolina State's Nathan Spoon trails by a stroke while East Tennessee State's Rhys Davies and Gareth Shaw stand tied for third at eight-under.
1. Arizona - 279-273-552 (-24)
2. N.C. State - 282-273-555 (-21)
T2. Florida - 273-282-555 (-21)
4. Arizona State - 284-273-557 (-19)
5. East Tennessee St. - 284-280-564 (-12)
6. Loyola Marymount - 284-281-565 (-11)
7. Fresno State - 280-286-566 (-10)
8. UC Irvine - 283-284-567 (-9)
T9. Washington - 288-281-569 (-7)
T9. Nevada - 282-287-569 (-7)
T11. New Mexico St. - 287-283-570 (-6)
T11. Pepperdine - 283-287-570 (-6)
T11. BYU - 282-288-570 (-6)
14. Stanford - 283-290-573 (-3)
15. New Mexico - 290-285-575 (-1)
16. Cal Poly - 290-287-577 (+1)
17. San Diego St. - 290-289-579 (+3)
18. Alabama - 289-292-581 (+5)
T19. Baylor - 289-294-583 (+7)
T19. Houston - 295-288-583 (+7)
T21. Western Kentucky - 294-295-589 (+13)
T21. Denver - 293-296-589 (+13)
23. Santa Clara - 289-302-591 (+15)
24. Louisville - 290-302-592 (+16)
25. San Diego - 299-294-593 (+17)
26. Bucknell - 297-300-597 (+21)
27. Jackson St. - 314-299-613 (+37)