KAHUKU, HAWAII -- Junior Brinson Paolini fired a four-under 68 to lead the Blue Devils to a two-under 286 as a team in the second round of the 36th annual John A. Burns Intercollegiate on Thursday. The Blue Devils are now fourth overall with an eight-under 568, while Julian Suri and Paolini are both in the top five individually.
"Today was a solid round," said Paolini. "We had to be patient and very accepting with the windy conditions out on the course. We are all looking forward to getting into the process of having a great playing day tomorrow."
California holds the 36-hole lead with a 20-under 556 with SMU four shots back at 16-under (560). New Mexico is third at 10-under and followed by Duke (-8) and UNLV (-7). Colorado State (-5) and Texas A&M (-1) are also under-par heading into the final round.
Suri shares the individual lead with Sam Fidone (SMU) at nine-under (135), while Paolini is among a group of three players tied for third at seven-under (137).
Paolini posted five birdies, 12 pars and a bogey en route to a four-under 68 in the second round. He birdied both par 5s (No. 3 & No. 9) on the front nine and added a birdie on the par 4 seventh hole to make the turn at three-under. Following three straight pars, he posted birdies on No. 13 (par 3) and No. 14 (par 4) to move to five-under on the day. After three more pars, Paolini ended the round with a bogey on the par 5 18th hole. Paolini now ranks third in Duke history with 18 career rounds in the 60s.
Suri opened the day with a birdie on the par 4 first hole and added birdies on No. 3 and No. 5 to move to three-under on the round. The St. Augustine, Fla., native added a birdie on the par 5 ninth hole to make the turn at -4. Suri suffered a double-bogey on the par 3 13th, his first blemish in 30 holes of play, to slip to two-under. He added a birdie on No. 17 before registered a bogey on No. 18 for a two-under 70. Suri has now posted an under-par score in four straight rounds and in 10 of his 17 rounds played this season.
Michael Ricaurte trimmed 10 shots off his first round score to post a season-best even-par 72. The freshman from Columbus, Ohio began the day with seven straight pars before moving into red figures with a birdie on the par 3 eighth hole. He suffered a double-bogey on No. 9 but quickly recovered with birdies on No. 10 (par 4) and No. 14 (par 4) to move back to one-under. Following a bogey on the par 3 15th hole, Ricaurte closed out par-par-par. He enters tomorrow's final round tied for 78th with a 10-over 154.
Sophomore Yaroslav Merkulov got off to a miserable start in the second round with three straight bogeys. He got a stroke back with a birdie on the par 4 seventh hole but his round went south again with back-to-back double-bogeys on No. 9 and No. 10. Merkulov also suffered bogeys on No. 12 and No. 13 to fall to eight-over on the day. He steadied himself with a par on No. 14 before catching fire to birdie the final four holes of the round to post a four-over 76. Merkulov is tied for 56th at six-over (150) through 36 holes of play.
Tim Gornik, a junior from Slovenia, recorded a five-over 77 in the second round. He got off to a strong start and played the front nine at two-under before running into trouble on the back nine. Gornik carded a triple-bogey, double-bogey and two bogeys over the final nine holes of play. He is tied for 63rd with a seven-over 151.
Sophomore Austin Cody, playing as an individual, collected three birdies, nine pars and six bogeys en route to a three-over 75. He is tied for 17th through two rounds with a two-under 142.
Duke opens final round play on Friday at 2:10 pm and will be paired with California, SMU and New Mexico. Live scoring and results for the John A. Burns Intercollegiate are available at www.golfstat.com.