MANHATTAN, Kan. -- While steady rain and strong winds made for miserable weather conditions and higher scores, the Fighting Illini men's golf team retained its lead today during the second round of the 2003 NCAA Central Regional Championships, held at the par 72, 7,228-yard Colbert Hills golf course in Manhattan, Kan. Illinois, which shot a 13-under par score of 275 in yesterday's opening round, shot a 7-over par score of 295 during today's second round. That was good enough to keep the Illini in first place in the 27-team Regional, which features four of the nation's Top-10 ranked teams. The Illini are 6-under par through 36 holes with a team score of 570. Illinois owns a two-shot lead over North Carolina State, in second place at 4-under 572. Oklahoma State sits in third, four strokes behind the Illini at 2-under 574. Illinois, North Carolina State and Oklahoma State are the only three teams in the field under par after two rounds of play.
Freshman Patrick Nagle and sophomore Garrett Chaussard each shot even-par rounds of 72 to lead the Illini today. Nagle was 2-under through seven holes but added two bogeys late in his round to finish even on the day. Chaussard started the day with a double-bogey at No. 10 (Illinois played the back nine first and then the front nine) but quickly bounced back with five consecutive pars. He then eagled the par-five 16th hole to return to even. A final bogey at hole 4 put Chaussard at +1, but he finished the day with a birdie at No. 9 to return to even-par, his second consecutive round of 72.
Illinois' third scorer was sophomore James Lepp, who shot a 3-over par 75. The Illini's fourth and final team score came from junior Ryan Tendall, who shot a 4-over round of 76.
Nagle is tied for third place among 141 golfers in the individual standings, remaining at 5-under par with a two-round score of 139. Nagle sits two-shots back of co-leaders Jason Moon of North Carolina State and Judd Easterling of Wichita State, who are both 7-under par (137).
Lepp falls back to a tie for 11th place at 2-under par with a score of 142. Chaussard remains in the Top 25, tied for 25th place at even-par 144. Senior Geoff Lound is tied for 70th at 149 (+5) while Tendall is tied for 98th at 151 (+7).
The third and final round of the 54-hole NCAA Central Regional will be held Saturday. Fans can follow the action via the internet with live scoring at: www.golfstat.com The top 10 finishing teams and top two individuals not among the top 10 teams will qualify for the NCAA Championships, to be held May 27-30 at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.
NCAA Central Regional Team Standings (after two of three rounds)
1. ILLINOIS 275-295=570 -6
2. North Carolina State 283-289=572 -4
3. Oklahoma State 285-289=574 -2
4. Wichita State 290-287=577
T5. North Carolina 283-295=578
T5. Southern Methodist 277-301=578
T5. Arkansas 286-292=578
8. Kentucky 280-301=581
9. Texas 285-298=583
10. Minnesota 287-297=584
T11. Ohio State 293-293=586
T11. Kent State 291-295=586
13. Texas Christian 287-300=587
T14. Oklahoma 292-296=588
T14. North Texas 285-303=588
T16. Texas Tech 296-293=589
T16. Lamar 285-304=589
T16. Michigan State 289-300=589
19. Tulsa 291-299=590
20. Kansas State 287-305=592
T21. Kansas 295-298=593
T21. Texas A&M 296-297=593
23. Wright State 297-297=594
24. Northwestern 287-308=595
25. Toledo 295-301=596
26. Missouri 298-300=598
27. Baylor 289-313=602