Men's golf looking for match play spot at NCAA championships
Eleven teams are within eight strokes for the eighth and final match play spot as the NCAA men's golf championship play continued at the Honors Course on June 2. The second round was not completed due to a 2-hour, 12-minute weather delay in the middle of the afternoon wave. Nine teams were still on the course when play was halted due to darkness.
Arizona State did finish and is tied for ninth with Oregon (the top-ranked team in the nation according to Golfstat), at 2-over 578, as ASU shot a 4-over 292 on Wednesday in the weather-restricted afternoon round. Fifth-ranked Washington (577) and No. 14 Clemson (577) are tied for seventh to round out the coveted top eight spots.
"I really like what I saw," noted ASU head coach Randy Lein. "We started off well, yesterday, and today, we wanted to follow it up if we could. What was good is when Jespar (Kennegard), who is one of the best players in the country, struggled from the get go bogeying his first four (holes), Braxton (Marquez), who shot 81 yesterday, shot even today and James (Byrne) shot one-over. We got help from the rest of the team, which is important going into tomorrow and then hopefully into match play. We have five guys that are contributing."
Fourteen teams are within 10 shots of the duo tied for seventh making for an interesting duel to qualify for match play. Nine over is tied for 15th just eight shots back. Teams 16-30 get the opportunity to post a number as they play in the morning wave.
Arizona State's Scott Pinckney led the way on Wednesday as he shot a 2-under 70. Braxton Marquez fired par (72) a day after going 9-over, while James Byrne shot a 1-over 73. Both Jesper Kennegard and Knut Borsheim shot 5-over 77.
Pinckney played bogey-free his final 13 holes on Wednesday, while another strong sign for ASU was the play of senior Braxton Marquez, who after shooting 10-over par in his first seven holes in the first round is at 1-under in the past 26 holes.
"I played well as I got off to a better start today," said Pinckney. "Yesterday, I started off with three-straight bogeys and today I started with a birdie and an eagle. I got off to a good start. Today, everything was just a little better with my ball striking and putts were falling. On the backside, I had all pars and left so many shots on the back. Both of the par 5s, I was greenside and made par, so it could have been better, but I am satisfied."