April 16, 2011
Tennessee remains in second place but has work to do chasing Florida at the SEC Men's Golf Championship in St. Simons Island, Ga.
The Vols shot 7-over-par 287 Saturday, third-best team score of the day and only one stroke more than their first-round effort. But UT lost ground because sixth-ranked Florida fired the afternoon's best result with a 2-over 282 that left the Gators at 567 through 36 holes. Tennessee is six strokes back at 573, followed by second-ranked Alabama (576) after the Crimson Tide shot 285 Saturday. Georgia (580) and Arkansas (580), ranked 14th and 15th nationally this week, are tied for fourth.
The second nine holes at Sea Island Golf Club again proved tougher for the Vols. Tennessee played the back nine in nine more strokes than the front, although that was an improvement from the 20-stroke difference during Friday's first round.
Danny Keddie and Darren Renwick led the way Saturday with matching 71s. Keddie is at 2-over 142 for the tournament and tied for sixth place, while Renwick is at 144 and tied for 14th. Robin Wingardh shot 72 and is alone in fifth place at 141, while Jay Vandeventer added a 73 for the second day in a row and is tied for 26th place at 146. Garrick Porteous shot another 74 and is tied for 30th.
The Vols are vying for their best SEC finish since winning the league crown in 2007. Since then, sixth in 2008 tops the list. The Vols placed 11th and eighth the last two years.
UT, ranked 30th and 34th in the major polls this week, appears to be in good shape for NCAA regional consideration. Tennessee entered the weekend with an overall record of 65-56-3, and a .500 or better mark is one of this year's criteria.
Keddie managed 14 pars Saturday and played especially well after double-bogeying the par-4 fifth hole. From there, the freshman birdied both par-5s -- Nos. 7 and 15 -- against just one bogey for his two-day total of 142.
Renwick's front nine was an exact duplicate of Friday, with eight pars and a single bogey at the par-3 sixth hole. But the junior improved by two strokes over his first-round effort for the back side, rallying for birdies at Nos. 15 and 16 after a pair of earlier bogeys. Renwick is at 4 over par for the tournament.
Wingardh began with birdie at the first for the second day in a row. The senior captain made the turn at even-par and then suffered four bogeys on the back against consecutive birdies at the 15th and 16th holes for a two-day total of 141. Wingardh trails tournament individual leader John Peterson (139) of LSU by just two strokes.
After an even-par front nine, Vandeventer birdied the par-4 11th and par-3 12th holes to get to 2 under par. He was still 1 under through 16 holes when he closed with double bogeys at the two finishing holes. The sophomore is at 6 over par for the championship.
Porteous was 2 under par through eight holes on the strength of birdies at the second, third and seventh holes. But no additional birdies against six bogeys the rest of the way left the junior with a two-day score of 148.
Sunday's final round for Tennessee begins on the No. 1 tee at 8:50 a.m. Eastern time, alongside Florida and Alabama. Weather conditions call for sunny skies and a high of 74 degrees, with much calmer winds at 9 mph from the north-northeast.
Live scoring available on UTsports.com via Golfstat.com.
|8.||South Carolina||294-295--589 (+29)|
|12.||Mississippi State||299-310--609 (+49)|
|1.||John Peterson, LSU||68-71--139 (-1)|
|T-2.||Wesley Bryan, South Carolina||71-69--140 (E)|
|T-2.||Phillip Choi, Florida||69-71--140 (E)|
|T-2.||Andres Echavarria, Florida||70-70--140 (E)|
|5.||Robin Wingardh, TENNESSEE||69-72--141 (+1)|
|5.||Robin Wingardh||69-72--141 (+1)|
|T-6.||Danny Keddie||71-71--142 (+2)|
|T-14.||Darren Renwick||73-71--144 (+4)|
|T-26.||Jay Vandeventer||73-73--146 (+6)|
|T-30.||Garrick Porteous||74-74--148 (+8)|