May 27, 2009
Tennessee emerged from a 4 1/2-hour weather delay Wednesday at the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championships to play solid golf over its final 6-8 holes, staying in contention at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.
"I thought it was critical that we play well after the break, and that's what we did," Tennessee head Jim Kelson said. "They did a great job of hanging in there and hanging tough. That obviously was crucial for our team, just being able to finish off a decent round of golf."
UT fired a 5-over-par 289, five shots better than Tuesday's opening round, and owns a two-day total of 15-over 583. The Vols were seventh among the 15 teams that completed play Wednesday and ninth overall when play was halted by darkness. Where UT stands after 36 holes won't be determined until the second round is finished sometime early Thursday morning.
"Scoring conditions were very good and I wish we could have shot a little lower score," Kelson said. Tennessee's tally was just the 12th best among Wednesday's morning group of 15 teams.
"But after getting off to a bit of a shaky start, that comeback was key. We watched TV during the break and a couple of them took a nap -- it was almost five hours of delay. It was a long delay but maybe it was a good thing for us."
Oklahoma State leads the way with an even-par score of 568, followed by Georgia at 5-over 573. Texas A&M had the day's low round, an 8-under 276 to improve to third place at 6-over 574. Arizona State (575), Washington (579), Arkansas (580) and Tennessee comprise the top teams to have finished 36 holes. Michigan, Duke, Central Florida, San Diego and TCU also were among the top dozen and ties when play was halted.
Three of Tennessee's four scoring players improved on their opening-day totals, the exception being David Holmes, who nonetheless continued his fine postseason with an even-par 71. Holmes is at 1-under 141 for the tournament and likely will start Thursday's final 18 holes still within the individual top 10.
Robin Wingardh was one shot better than Tuesday, carding a 72 for the Vols. Chris Paisley improved by two shots and Darren Renwick three as the British duo fired matching 73s. Freshman Garrick Porteous finished his second round with an 82.
"It was still a challenging golf course, but definitely conditions were better," Kelson said.
What a difference a day made for the Vols over the grueling stretch of holes 3-7. Tuesday, Tennessee's top four scorers combined to shoot 15 over par on those five tests of skill without a single birdie; Wednesday, birdies from Paisley and Renwick led to a 2-over score that put the team in position to make up ground.
But UT was losing that ground until thunderstorms hit at 11:35 a.m. Eastern time. Tennessee was 8 over par at that point and drifting away from the top 10. Once play resumed, the Vols rallied for a three-shot improvement and needed momentum heading into Thursday.
"We're in position to crack that top eight," Kelson said. "We're just really looking forward to playing well Thursday. Things will be delayed a little bit but it should be an exciting day of golf.
"We've got to play very well, without question, but we're really looking forward to the opportunity."
Holmes birdied the second hole, and then scuffled a bit finishing his outward nine. Bogeys at 6, 7 and 9 surrounded a birdie at the par-5 eighth. From there, it was eight consecutive pars before the Knoxville junior finished with a sparking birdie on 18.
Wingardh made his turn at 2 over par after bogeys at the second and ninth holes. He birdied the 12th just before the weather delay, then picked up right where he left off with another birdie at the par-5 13th. Only a bogey at 15 spoiled his chance at an even-par round and the sophomore Swede is at 3-over 145.
Paisley put the finishing touches on Tennessee's late rally with his finishing birdie at 18. That was the senior's third birdie for the day to go with five bogeys and he stands at 6-over 148 for the tourney. Paisley on his front nine bogeyed the second, sixth and ninth holes to offset a birdie at the third. He bogeyed No. 10, but then played 1 under par after the weather delay with birdies at 13 and 18 against another bogey at the 14th.
Renwick played steady all day, finishing 1 over on both nines. He birdied the tough par-4 fourth after bogeying it Tuesday, but let that advantage get away by dropping single shots at the seventh and ninth holes. The freshman added bogeys at Nos. 11 and 12 before the break, then rallied to play 1 under the rest of the way -- the key score a birdie at the par-4 16th. Renwick stands at 7-over 149.
Porteous birdied 18 to finish on a good note, yet still equaled his season-worst score with an 82. His day began with two bogeys and two triples over the first five holes. He settled down with a birdie at the eighth, only to drop two more shots with a double at nine to finish the outward side in 44. After three consecutive bogeys on holes 14-16, Porteous was able to rescue that birdie at 18 and stands 17-over 159 for the tournament.
Third-round play is expected to start around 10 a.m., with tee times to be determined by the 36-hole standings. Thursday's weather forecast in Toledo calls for a 30 percent chance of afternoon showers and a high of 70, with southwest winds at 12 mph. Check UTsports.com Thursday morning and throughout the day for updated information and live scoring.
|1.||Oklahoma State||288-280--568 (E)|
|t-3.||Texas A&M||298-276--574 (+6)|
|5.||Arizona State||294-281--575 (+7)|
|t-9.||Central Florida||300-dnf (+15)|
|t-11.||San Diego||293-dnf (+16)|
|t-13.||Georgia Tech||301-285--586 (+18)|
|t-13.||Southern California||305-281--586 (+18)|
|16.||Ohio State||294-dnf (+19)|
|21.||South Carolina||305-286--591 (+23)|
|22.||Texas Tech||303-dnf (+24)|
|26.||Wake Forest||302-dnf (+30)|
|1.||Alex Ching, San Diego||70-dnf (-6)|
|t-2.||Russell Henley, Georgia||71-67--138 (-4)|
|t-2.||Matt Hill, North Carolina State||69-69--138 (-4)|
|t-2.||Alexander Sitompul, Michigan||72-dnf (-4)|
|5.||Bronson Burgoon, Texas A&M||72-67--139 (-3)|
|t-6.||Scott Pinkney, Arizona State||73-67--140 (-2)|
|t-6.||Nick Taylor, Washington||70-70--140 (-2)|
|t-6.||Michael Quagliano, Duke||73-dnf (-2)|
|t-6.||Lion Kim, Michigan||72-dnf (-2)|
|t-10.||David Holmes||70-71--141 (-1)|
|t-35.||Robin Wingardh||73-72--145 (+3)|
|t-61.||Chris Paisley||75-73--148 (+6)|
|t-73.||Darren Renwick||76-73--149 (+7)|
|t-150.||Garrick Porteous||77-82--159 (+17)|