Day 2 wrap: NCAA men's golf regionals

By Ryan LavnerMay 15, 2015, 11:55 pm

The NCAA Division I men’s regionals got underway Thursday at six sites around the country. The low five teams in each regional after Saturday’s final round will advance to the May 28-June 3 NCAA Championship at Concession Golf Club in Florida.

Here are the second-round results from the Chapel Hill (N.C.), Noblesville (Ind.), Yale (Conn.), Lubbock (Texas), San Diego (Calif.) and Bremerton (Wash.) regionals:

Chapel Hill Regional, at Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill, N.C.:

Leader: Stanford (-11)

Second place: Charlotte (-10)

Rest of the top 5: Florida State (-6), Kennesaw State (-3) and Florida (-3)

Work to do: Clemson (-1), North Carolina (-1), GRU Augusta (+2), Wake Forest (+6)

Individual leader: J.T. Poston, Western Carolina (-8)

Skinny: Stanford’s second-round 275 was the best round of the day by nine shots. Still, the Cardinal have only a 10-shot advantage over the sixth-place teams. Charlotte is the No. 9 seed, but the 49ers are holding steady after a 3-over 291. The two big surprises so far: No. 1-ranked Florida State and host North Carolina need a good round Saturday just to advance. The Seminoles are five shots clear of sixth place, but they’ve yet to post a round under 69. The Tar Heels, despite playing on their home course, have only one player under par after 36 holes. 

New Haven Regional, at The Course at Yale in New Haven, Conn.:

Leader: South Florida (-3)

Second place: N.C. State (+6) 

Rest of the top 5: San Diego State (+7), Vanderbilt (+7), Oklahoma State (+10)

Work to do: Iowa (+11), Ohio State (+13), North Texas (+13), LSU (+21)

Individual leader: Jordan Niebrugge, Oklahoma State (-6)

Skinny: USF posted the lowest score of the day (4-under 276) for the second round in a row to open up a nine-shot lead. More importantly, the Bulls have a 14-stroke cushion over sixth place as they try to advance to the NCAA finals, which will be played about an hour from their Tampa campus. N.C. State, the No. 8 seed in the regional, moved up four spots on the leaderboard after a solid second round that included a 67 from lead man David Cooke. Jordan Niebrugge blitzed Yale’s course with a 8-under 62 that was more than 11 shots better than the field average. With the rest of his teammates failing to break 74, Niebrugge’s round pushed the Cowboys into the all-important fifth spot, though just one clear of Iowa.   

NCAA men's regional team and individual scores

Full coverage: NCAA men's regionals

Noblesville Regional, at Sagamore Golf Club in Noblesville, Ind:

Leader: SMU (-3)

Second place: Colorado (+1)

Rest of the top 5: Illinois (+3), UCLA (+6), UNLV (+9) 

Work to do: Oregon (+14), Alabama (+21), Georgia Southern (+22)

Individual leader: Jonathan Garrick, UCLA (-7)

Skinny: SMU has three players inside the top-7 individually. Only one Colorado player shot better than 75 on Friday, but the Buffaloes’ opening 277 gave them plenty of room to work with. They’re still 13 shots clear of sixth place. The big story Saturday will be whether Alabama can summon a charge and advance to NCAA finals. The two-time defending NCAA champions are 12 shots back of fifth heading into the finale. 

Bremerton Regional, at Gold Mountain in Bremerton, Wash.: 

Leader: TCU (-12)

Second place: UAB (-11)

Rest of the top 5: USC (-7), South Carolina (-5), Baylor (-3)

Work to do: Iowa State (-2), Washington (+1), Michigan (+4)

Individual leader: Cheng-Tsung Pan, Washington (-8)

Skinny: TCU didn’t record a score worse than 73 in the second round as the Horned Frogs leaped over UAB into the top spot. Baylor made the biggest move of the day, shooting 8 under to move into the fifth spot. Kyle Jones and Andreas Gjesteby each carded 69s for the Bears. The team to watch Saturday is host Washington, which is in seventh, four shots back of Baylor, despite the effort of senior Cheng-Tsung Pan (-8). No other Huskies player is inside the top 25 individually. 

San Diego Regional, at The Farms Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.:

Leader: Oklahoma (-17) 

Second place: Arizona State (+5) 

Rest of the top 5: Georgia Tech (+6), East Tennessee State (+7), Georgia (+9) 

Work to do: Virginia (+11), Idaho (+12), Wichita State (+10), San Diego (+16), New Mexico (+19)

Individual leader: Jon Rahm, Arizona State (-7)

Skinny: Oklahoma increased its lead to a whopping 22 shots with a Friday-best 275. All five Sooners players are inside the top 15 individually. No. 1 seed Arizona State got back into the mix after an 8-under 64 from Jon Rahm. Georgia also surged seven spots on the board, into the all-important fifth spot, after three players shot 70 or better, including Zach Healy’s 67. Host San Diego has yet to put it together on its home course, shooting 297-295 to lurk seven shots outside the cut line. 

Lubbock Regional, at the Rawls Course in Lubbock, Texas:

Leader: Texas Tech (-16) 

Second place: Texas (-13) 

Rest of the top 5: Duke (-10), Houston (-7), Southeastern Louisiana and Louisville (-4) 

Work to do: Auburn (-3), California (-2), Purdue (E) 

Individual leader: K.K. Limbhasut, Cal (-8) 

Skinny: After a 4 ½-hour weather delay, Texas Tech, playing on its home course, surged in front with a 10-under 274, the best round of the day by five shots. Clement Sordet is leading the Red Raiders, at 6 under through two days. Southeastern Louisiana is the biggest surprise thus far, as the No. 9 seed shares fourth place with Houston after 36 holes. Third-seeded Auburn should consider itself fortunate to still have a chance, as no Tiger player is inside the top 20 individually. Still, they are just one shot back of fifth place. 

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials phoned Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial. 

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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.