STILLWATER, OKLA - Sophomores Tim Gornik and Brinson Paolini each fired even-par 72s on Wednesday to pace Duke to a five-over 293 in the second round of the NCAA Championship at Karsten Creek Golf Club. The Blue Devils enters tomorrow's final round of stroke play tied for 12th with a 20-over 596. Paolini is tied for 14th individually with an even-par 144 after 36 holes of play.
Paolini bogeyed the par 5 first hole to open the second round before moving back to even-par with a birdie on No. 5. He suffered a bogey on No. 6 but made the turn at even-par following a birdie on the par 5 ninth hole. Paolini dropped two shots with a double-bogey on No. 10 before righting the ship with a birdie on the par 3 11th hole. Following a bogey on No. 13, he closed with birdies on No. 15 (par 3) and No. 18 (par 5) for his second consecutive round of even-par golf. Paolini is five shots off the individual lead and tied for 14th overall.
Gornik opened the second round with 13 straight pars before moving to one-under with a birdie on the par 5 14th hole. He suffered back-to-back bogeys on No. 15 and No. 16 to slip to one-over before closing with a birdie on the par 5 18th hole. The Ljubljana, Slovenia, native now has five even-par rounds on the season and is tied for 36th at heading into Thursday's final round.
Sophomore Julian Suri posted a two-over 74 on Wednesday and is now tied for 105th at 11-over for the tournament. He parred his opening three holes in the second round and added a birdie on the par 4 fourth hole to move to one-under. The St. Augustine, Fla., native bogeyed No. 6 and No. 7 and suffered a double-bogey on No. 10 to fall to three-over on the round. Suri birdied the par 4 13th hole to pick up a stuck before falling back to +3 with a bogey on No. 17. He bounced back to birdie the par 5 18th hole to close the day with momentum.
Wes Roach, a senior from Knoxville, Tenn., battled throughout the day en route to a three-over 75. He carded seven pars and a pair of bogeys (No. 2 & No. 8) to make the turn at two-over. Roach also bogeyed No. 10 and No. 17 to dip to +4 before closing with a birdie on the par 5 18th hole. He is currently tied for 93rd with a 10-over 254.
Freshman Austin Cody is also tied for 93rd at +10 after registering a five-over 77 on Wednesday. He carded 14 pars on the day but also had three bogeys and a double-bogey in the round.
Georgia Tech holds the 36-hole lead with a three-under 573 with UCLA just one shot back at two-under. Illinois (+2, 578), Georgia (+3, 579) and Alabama (+4, 580) round out the top five with Oklahoma State (+9, 585), Augusta State (+12, 588), Texas A&M (+14, 590) and Ohio State (+14, 590) sitting inside the top eight overall. The top eight teams following Thursday's final round of stroke play advance to the match-play portion of the tournament.
USC is 10th overall with a 16-over 592 and followed by Arkansas (+18, 594), Duke (+20, 596), Iowa (+20, 596), Arizona State (+20, 596), San Diego State (+20, 596), Florida (+23, 599), California (+23, 599), Michigan (+23, 599), Texas (+24, 600), LSU (+24, 600), Northwestern (+26, 602), San Diego (+28, 604), Kent State (+30, 606), Tennessee (+31, 607), Kennesaw State (+31, 607), Arizona (+36, 612), Oklahoma (+41, 617), N.C. State (+42, 618), Pepperdine (+43, 619) and Colorado State (+53, 629).
LSU's John Peterson holds the individual lead after firing a seven-under 65 in the second round. He is one shot better than James White of Georgia Tech with a five-under 139. Patrick Cantlay (UCLA), Harris English (Georgia) and Luke Guthrie (Illinois) are tied for third at three-under 141.
Duke begins final round play on Thursday at 1:00 pm on No. 10 at Karsten Creek Golf Club. The Blue Devils will be paired with USC and Arkansas as they attempt to reach match play for the first time since the tournament moved to its current format in 2009.
Live scoring for the 2011 NCAA Championship is available at http://www.ncaa.com/content/division-i-mens-team-leaderboard.
*** Paolini is now tied for fifth at Duke with 14 career even-par rounds ... he is also tied for third in even-par rounds in a season with seven in 2011.
*** Paolini now has 33 career rounds of even-par or better golf ... he ranks 12th at Duke in that category.
*** Paolini's even-par 144 is the sixth best showing by a Blue Devil in NCAA Championship play through 36 holes.
*** Paolini is tied for second in the tournament in par 3 scoring at three-under (2.63).
*** Gornik has shot 75 or better in 27 of 29 rounds played this season.
*** Gornik is tied for second in the tournament with 26 pars ... Roach is tied for eighth with 25 pars through 36 holes of play.
*** Duke picked up four shots on the final hole of play on Wednesday as Paolini, Suri, Gornik and Roach each birdied the par 5 18th hole.
*** The 477-yard, par 4 10th hole has troubled the Blue Devils in the opening two rounds as Duke has played the hole at 16-over thus far.