Washington Moves into First at NCAAs

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NCAASUNRIVER, Ore. -- Washington's Zach Bixler shot a 4-under 68 on Thursday to move within three strokes of Wake Forest's Kyle Reifers for the individual lead and help the Huskies top the team standings in the NCAA tournament.
 
Reifers followed his opening 65 with a 70 in rainy and windy conditions for a 9-under 135 total on the Crosswater Golf Club at Sunriver Resort.
 
Bixler was 6 under along with Arizona State's Niklas Lemke (68) and Oklahoma State teammates Jonathan Moore (70) and Pablo Martin (72).
 
Bixler had five birdies, four on his second nine, and one bogey.
 
'I birdied my first hole, and then I was just patient for the next eight holes,' Bixler said. 'I just hit it on the greens, took my two putts and moved on. On the back side, I went at more pins. I was hitting the ball really well.'
 
Washington, seeking its first title, had a 6-under 282 total Thursday to top the team standings at 13-under 563, with the top four scores from the five-player squad counting in the total. Arizona State and first-round leader Wake Forest were 10 under, followed by Florida at 7 under and Clemson and Kentucky at 6 under.
 
'If we had shot even par today I would have been happy,' Washington coach Matt Thurmond said. 'So for us to shoot 6 under, I'm really happy. We got a good break with the weather conditions. They weren't as bad as they could have been.'
 
Bixler was one of three Washington players in the top 10. Alex Prugh (72) was tied for sixth at 5 under, and defending champion James Lepp (71) was tied for 10th at 4 under. Erik Olson was 2 over after a 71, while Sterling Clark's 82 did not count in the team total.
 
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