Second Round Results
TEMPE, ARIZ. -- Senior Brinson Paolini fired a three-under 67 Friday to lead Duke to an even-par 280 in the second round of the NCAA Tempe Regional at ASU Karsten Golf Course (par 70, 7,036 yards). The Blue Devils are tied for fifth after 36 holes of play with a two-under 558. The top five teams after tomorrow's final round advance to the NCAA Championship in Alpharetta, Ga. (May 28 - June 2).
"There are a couple of tough holes and shots on the golf course that we didn't handle quite as well today, but I am really pleased that the guys have kept their heads up," said head coach Jamie Green. "I told them the National Championship is a six-round, stroke-play event that starts at regionals. Tomorrow is the third round and we are certainly in a position to go out and have a good day tomorrow."
Top-seed UCLA posted a seven-under 273 in the second round and now holds the 36-hole lead with a 19-under 541. Central Florida posted the top round of the day with an eight-under 272 to move into second place with an eight-under 552. Georgia is third at six-under 554 with Texas A&M fourth at three-under (557). Duke and host Arizona State are tied for fifth (-2, 558) followed by North Carolina (+1, 581), New Mexico State (+4, 564), Austin Peay (+4, 564), Arizona (+7, 567), Vanderbilt (+9, 569), Clemson (+14, 574), Kennesaw State (+18, 578) and Lehigh (+36, 596).
"This isn't a golf course where you want to sit back and let things happen," continued Green. "You want to attack and push the envelope to a certain degree. Not take needless chances, but continue to make good decisions, stay focused and play with a calm confidence. When we do that I like our chances and I like our chances tomorrow."
Central Florida's Greg Eason blistered the course for a seven-under 63 Friday and holds the individual lead with a 12-under 128. Teammate Ricardo Gouveia is six shots back with a six-under 134, while Paolini is among a group of five players tied for third at five-under.
Paolini, the 2013 Byron Nelson Award winner, opened the day with birdies on No. 1 and No. 2 before slipping back to even-par following a double-bogey on the par 4 fifth hole. After four straight pars, he suffered a second double-bogey on No. 10. Paolini bounced back to birdie No. 11 (par 4) and No. 12 (par 3) and continued his torrid play with an eagle on the par 5 14th hole. The Virginia Beach, Va., native added a birdie on No. 17 (par 5) and closed with a par for a three-under 67.
"It was a grind out there today and I had a couple of tough holes through No. 10," said Paolini. "I was grateful to have eight more holes to make up some ground after the double on No. 10 and I was fortunate to get on a roll to end the round. The team scores are bunched but we know if we go out tomorrow and commit ourselves to the process of executing our game plan everything will take care of itself."
Senior Adam Sumrall was one of three Blue Devils to shot a one-over 71 in the second round. The South Bend, Ind., native recorded 12 pars to go along with birdies on No. 4 and No. 14 to play the opening 14 holes at two-under. He ran into trouble with a bogey on No. 15 and a double-bogey on No. 16 to slip back to one-over. Sumrall righted the ship with pars on No. 17 and No. 18 to close out the round. He is tied for 21st overall with an even-par 140.
Mads Soegaard also carded a 71 Friday for the Blue Devils. The Ikast, Jylland, Denmark native started the day with back-to-back birdies before slipping back to even-par with a double-bogey on No. 6. He also dropped strokes with bogeys on No. 9 and No. 15 before collecting a birdie on the par 5 17th hole. Soegaard concluded the round with a par and is now tied for 25th with a one-over 141 heading into the final round.
Senior Julian Suri posted a one-over 71 for the second straight day. The St. Augustine, Fla., native is tied for 32nd with a 142 (+2) heading into Saturday's final round. Suri got off to a strong start in round two with birdies on No. 1 and No. 9 to make the turn at two-under. He suffered a double-bogey on No. 10 and a bogey on No. 11 to slip to one-over. Suri added a birdie on the par 4 13th hole to move to even-par but was unable to capitalize on either of the par 5s down the stretch before ending the day with a bogey on No. 18.
Austin Cody, a junior from North Charleston, S.C., got off to a miserable start with three bogeys (No. 1, No. 6 & No. 9) and a quad-bogey (No. 3) over the first nine holes of play. He recovered to play the back nine at two-under with three birdies (No. 11, No. 15 & No. 17), five pars and a bogey (No. 16) to finish with a five-over 75. Cody is tied for 52nd with a six-over 146 after 36 holes of play.
Duke opens final round play Saturday at 10:30 am and will be paired with Texas A&M and Arizona State. Live scoring, tee times and course statistics are available at www.golfstat.com.
*** Duke posted an even-par 280 for its fifth straight round of even-par or better golf ... the Blue Devils were plagued by five double-bogeys and a quad-bogey in the second round of play.
*** The Blue Devils posted the fifth even-par round in NCAA Regional play ... Duke has shot even-par or better 14 times in NCAA Regional play.
*** Paolini's three-under 67 was tied for the fifth-best round of the day ... he has shot under-par in seven of the last eight rounds ... Paolini has shot even-par or better in each of the last eight rounds played.
*** Paolini's 67 (-3) is tied for 10th-best Duke round in NCAA Regional play.
*** Paolini has 16 under-par rounds on the season, tied for fourth-most in the Duke season record books ... he is tied for sixth at Duke with 19 rounds of even-par or better golf in 2012-13.
*** Paolini is second in the Duke career record books in rounds in the 60s (28), under-par rounds (48), even-par or better rounds (69).
*** Paolini is tied for third in the tournament in par 5 scoring at -4 ... he is also tied for third in par 3 scoring at -1.