PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. - The fourth-ranked Auburn men’s golf team fell from second to a tie for 15th shooting a 15-over 299 for a 587 total after the second round of the NCAA Championship at historic Riviera Country Club on Wednesday. The Tigers are three shots behind Illinois, Kent State, Florida, Southern California and California for the coveted eighth spot.
Auburn coach Nick Clinard, Michael Johnson look for answers/Todd Van Emst photo
The top eight teams after three rounds advance to match play while the individual NCAA Champion is also be determined after 54 holes.
No. 2 Alabama continues to lead after a 3-over 287 for a 4-over 572 total, four shots ahead of No. 5 UCLA (287-576). Florida State is in fourth at 12-over followed by Oklahoma (292-581), North Florida (291-581), Washington (286-582) and Liberty (288-583).
“We had five doubles, a triple and a quad so it is pretty tough to come back, especially on this golf course because there are just not that many birdies out there,” said Auburn head coach Nick Clinard.
All-American Blayne Barber is tied for 10th after shooting a 3-over 74 for a 1-over 143 total. Barber doubled his opening hole, No. 10, and was 4-over after his first six, but chipped in for eagle at the par-5 17th, his eighth hole. The Lake City, Fla., native then bogeyed his final hole, the ninth, after driving into the fairway bunker.
All-SEC Dominic Bozzelli was leading the NCAA Championship after 20 holes at 4-under with back-to-back birdies on his first two holes but quadruple bogeyed his next, No. 12, after his tee shot stayed in the tree and did not come down. After going back to re-tee, his approach spun back into the greenside bunker before three-putting from 20 feet. The Pittsford, N.Y., native’s 75 leaves him tied for 16th at 2-over 144.
All-SEC Will McCurdy is tied for 84th after a 76 for an 8-over 150 while All-SEC Niclas Carlsson is tied for 117th with a 77-153. Freshman All-SEC Michael Johnson improved on his first round 81 with a 74 and is tied for 132th.
“The wind is picking up pretty good right now (for the second round afternoon wave),” said Clinard. “Hopefully, we got our bad round out of the way today, and if we go out tomorrow and shoot even par or 1-over, we may have a chance.”