Boilers Surge to Sixth Entering Final Round at NCAA Central Regional
May 17, 2014HOOSIER SPORTS 365
SUGAR GROVE, Ill. --The Purdue men's golf team tied for the best round of the day and put itself in position to reach its first NCAA National Championship round for the first time in nine years.
The Boilermakers fired an even-par 288 in cold, rainy conditions at Rich Harvest Farms on the west side of Chicago. Purdue tied with playing partner California for the low round of the day, and tournament, and now sit just 13 shots off the lead and three shots out of fifth place, the cutline for teams to advance to nationals.
The story of the day early was the weather. The first tee times were set for 8 a.m. (CT), but a moderate rain fell all morning and temps at tee time were in the upper 30s. Almost an inch of snow fell just about 15 miles from Rich Harvest Farms, forcing NCAA officials to move the start time back two-and-a-half hours.
When play started, Purdue stated its case early that it was going to have a strong day on the links. Starting on the back nine, the Boilermakers' counting squad was 2-under par through nine holes. Purdue would get as low as 6-under par and as high as third in the standings through 12 complete holes, but fell back a little bit over the last six holes, finishing the day at even par and 21-over par for the tournament (309-288=597).
Purdue's 288 is its third-best round in school history during NCAA Regional play (29 rounds).
Senior Adam Schenk has positioned himself for a shot at individual medalist honors with a stellar round of 70 today. Schenk started the day with back-to-back birdies on 11 and 12 and his only mistake came on the par-3 5th (14th hole of day) with a double-bogey five. He would answer with a clutch birdie on the par-5 7th (16th hole of day) and finished his round at 2-under. Schenk is six shots behind Illinois' Brian Campbell (-5) and tied with seven other players in second place at 1-under par (75-70=145).
Sophomore Stuart Macdonaldtied Schenk for team-low honors on Friday with a 2-under par 70, bouncing back after an opening-round 79. Macdonald played his first nine (the back nine) in even-par, then birdied hole Nos. 1 and 2 (10th and 11th for him) to move to 2-under. He bogeyed hole No. 3, but rebounded with a birdie on No. 8 to move back to 2-under and finish his round in a tie for 19th at 5-over par 149 (79-70).
Freshman Austin Eoffalso bounced back from a tough first round with a 2-over par 74 to sit in a 25th-place tie at 7-over par 151 (77-74). Eoff was steady most of the day, registering two birdies, four bogeys and 12 pars.
Junior Enzo Perezfinished his day with a 2-over par 74 and is in 29th place at 8-over par 152 (78-74). Perez was rolling pretty good through the first 12 holes at 2-under par for his round, but a late stretch of 4-over par in a five-hole span dropped him back to 2-over par for his round.
Freshman Philippe Schweizerrounded out Purdue's contingent with a 7-over par 79 and is in 49th place after two rounds at 14-over par 158.
Purdue will tee off tomorrow morning at 7:50 a.m. (CT) off hole No. 1 and will be paired with fourth-place California (+17, 593) and fifth-place USC (+18, 594). UAB (+8, 584), Illinois (+9, 585) and Clemson (+15, 591) will comprise the final pairing.
Live scoring can be found on golfstat.com, and Twitter updates will be provided @PurdueMensGolf.