DURHAM, N.C. – After posting an opening round nine over-par 297, the 25th-ranked Duke men’s golf team rallied in the second round to post a season-best seven under-par 281 to conclude the day tied for fifth place at the fourth annual Rod Myers Invitational, held at the Duke University Golf Club. The Blue Devils seek to claim their third consecutive title at the Rod Myers Invitational as they trail clubhouse leader Northwestern by 15 shots entering Sunday’s final round.
Northwestern owns the lead at the event after carding a blistering 13 under-par 563, while North Carolina, Baylor, Liberty and Duke round out the top five, respectively. Northwestern’s Matt Fitzpatrick holds the individual lead at the event after carding a nine-under par 135, while teammate Jack Perry, Baylor’s Kyle Jones, North Carolina’s Davis Bateman and Liberty’s Chase Marinell concluded the day in the top five. Sophomore Boo Timko of Ohio State tied a course record with a second-round, seven under par 65, and currently sits in a tie for sixth entering the final day.
Sophomore Motin Yeung led the way for the Blue Devils after carding a two-under par 142, on the day. Yeung opened the 2013 Rod Myers Invitational by recording six pars before birdieing the par-five seventh. A native of Beijing, China, Yeung made bogeys at No. 8 and No. 10 and double-bogeyed No. 12 before battling back with birdies at the par-5 14th, par-4 16th, and par-4 18th to record an even-par 72. In the second round, Yeung tallied birdies at No. 8 and No. 9 to card a one-under par 35 on the front nine. On the back side, Yeung continued his solid play with a birdie at the par-4, 14th before dropping a shot at the par-5 14th. Yeung rallied to string together three pars before closing his day with a birdie to put him in a tie for 10th.
Freshman Max Greyserman opened his tournament with bogeys on three of his first four holes before making a crucial birdie at the 399-yard, par-4 fifth hole. After closing out the front nine in 39, Greyserman made bogeys on No. 10 and No. 11 but responded with birdies at the par-5 14th and par-4 18th to post a first round 76. During the second round, the Short Hills, N.J., native made five birdies en-route to a two-under par 70, giving him a two-round total of 146. Greyserman has now recorded a team-best three under-par rounds this season.
After registering an opening round six-over par 78, senior Yaroslav Merkulov began the second round with birdies on the first and second holes before stringing together six consecutive pars. On the 493-yard, par-five ninth hole, Merkulov made an eagle to close out the front nine in 32, and continued his outstanding play on the back side by birdieing the par-5 11th to pull to five-under par for the round. After making a bogey on No. 12, the Penfield, N.Y., native, birdied No. 14, but dropped shots at No. 17 and No. 18 to record a season-best, three-under par, 69. Merkulov enters the final round in a tie for 28th.
Alexander Matlari, a native of Leimen, Germany, posted a three-over par 75 in the first round after recording two birdies, 13 pars, three bogeys and a double bogey. The freshman opened his second round with a double bogey on No. 1, but responded by stringing together three consecutive birdies at the seventh, eighth and ninth holes respectively to card an even par 36 on the opening nine. On the back side, Matlari dropped shots at No. 12 and No. 16, but converted crucial birdies at No. 14 and No. 18 to post a second round 73, leaving him in a tie for 28th place with a two-round total of three-over par, 147.
Junior Turner Southey-Gordon carded a two-over par 74 in the first round after making three birdies, three bogies and a double bogey in his opening 18. In the second round, the Toronto, Canada, native made a double bogey six at the par-4 second, but recorded back-to-back birdies at No. 9 and No. 10 to bring his round back to even. Despite the rally, Southey-Gordon dropped shots at 11 and 12, finishing the day in a tie for 37th place, with a four-over par, 144.
In addition, senior Austin Cody, junior Michael Ricaurte and freshman Andrew Bieber competed in the event as individuals. Cody, a native of North Charleston, S.C., carded a 162, while Ricaurte opened his day with a two-under par 70, but was unable to maintain that momentum in the second round, carding a five-over par 77. After posting an opening round 79, Bieber recorded his first collegiate even-par round with his second round 72 and enters the final round in a tie for 48th place.
While Northwestern (563), North Carolina (575), Baylor (575), Liberty (576), and Duke (578) make up the top five, four other schools – East Carolina (578), Charlotte (579), Ohio State (580) and Pacific (584) – are within six shots of the Blue Devils. Pacific (584), Iowa (590), and Tulsa (592) conclude the day in ninth, 10th, and 11th respectively.
The Blue Devils will tee off at 8:10 a.m. Sunday for the final round of the event. For live scoring, tee times, recaps, tournament history and additional Rod Myers Invitational information is available at www.goduke.com/rmi. Live scoring will also be available at www.golfstat.com.