Rebels Tied For 17th At NCAAs
June 2, 2010
OOLTEWAH, Tenn. - The No. 12 UNLV men's golf team shot a second-round 4-over-par 292 on Wednesday and is in a three-way tie for 17th place at the 2010 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship, which is being played at The Honors Course (par 72, 7,395 yards).
The Rebels' 36-hole score is 10-over 586. Florida State leads the tournament at 14-under 562 after a second-round 9-under 279. The Seminoles lead second-place Oklahoma State by five shots. The Cowboys shot 4-under 284 on Wednesday and sit at 9-under 567. Georgia Tech is third at 4-under, while Augusta State is fourth at 1-under and Florida and San Diego are both tied for fifth at even par. The rest of the field is over par. Washington and Clemson are tied for seventh at 1-over, while Oregon and Arizona State are tied for ninth at 2-over.
A two-hour weather delay occurred during the afternoon on Wednesday, which prevented nine teams from completing the second round. The top 10 teams in the standings all completed their second rounds.
"We have to play a really solid round (tomorrow)," UNLV head coach Dwaine Knight said about his team's chances on advancing to the match-play round. "We are a little ways back and some teams are playing well. If we go out and post a good score, you never know what can happen. We have to have a couple guys get under par.
"Driving it well is really key and sets up the course. We were a little better off the tee today. Even on a tough course, the guys know that there are some birdies out there."
San Diego's Alex Ching leads the tournament at 9-under 135 after shooting a second-round 6-under 66. He shot 3-under 69 during Tuesday's opening round and leads Augusta State's Henrik Norlander, Oklahoma State's Peter Uihlein and Illlinois' Scott Langley by two shots. Norlander, Uihlein and Langley are all tied for second at 7-under, with Langley the only golfer left on the course out of that group during the second round - he has one hole to finish. There is a two-way tie for fifth at 5-under and four-way tie for seventh at 4-under.
UNLV sophomore Derek Ernst continues to lead the Rebels and is in a tie for 21st place at 1-under 143 after a second-round 1-under 71. Rebel senior Eddie Olson and freshman Kevin Penner are both tied for 91st at 5-over 149 after a 3-over 75 and an even-par 72 on Wednesday, respectively. Senior Brett Kanda is tied for 101st at 6-over 150 after a 2-over 74 during the second round, while Colby Smith is tied for 124th at 8-over 152 after shooting 80 on Wednesday.
Ernst had two eagles and two birdies during the second round, but also had three bogeys as well as a double bogey. Ernst's eagles came on the par-5, 590-yard 11th hole and the par-5, 545-yard 17th. He had two of the 13 eagles made during the second round and was one of three players to record two eagles on the day.
"I got off to a rough start today," Ernst said. "I was 4-over after seven holes, but then I figured something out on hole eight - to not try so hard and force things. I turned around and birdied nine and shot 32 on the back (nine). The last 12 holes were a lot of fun, but the first few were tough."
UNLV finished its round earlier in the day, but play was halted at 8:45 p.m. EDT. The second round will finish starting at 7 a.m. EDT Thursday and the third round is estimated to start around 9 a.m. EDT.
30 teams and six individuals not on those teams are competing for the national title this week. The individual champion will be crowned after the third round and the field will be cut to eight teams. After the cut, the low eight teams will compete in single-elimination match-play format with one match each day until a team champion is crowned on Sunday.
The 2010 NCAA Championship is UNLV's 17th all-time appearance (in the last 22 years) and first in the last four years. UNLV won its only team men's golf national title in 1998 in Albuquerque, N.M., and its previous best finish at the event was a second-place showing in 1996, also at The Honors Course. UNLV also boasts two individual national champions - Ryan Moore in 2004 and Warren Schutte in 1991.