ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Senior Brinson Paolini fired a two-under 70 on Saturday to pace Duke to a two-over 290 in the second round of the U.S. Collegiate Championship on the Lakeside Course at the Golf Club of Georgia (par 72, 7,107 yards). The Blue Devils, 11th in the latest Golfstat rankings, climbed four spots on the leaderboard and are now tied for ninth with a 19-over 595 heading into the final round of play.
“We had three good scores today," said head coach Jamie Green. "Yesterday, we counted a couple of
scores that really moved us backward, but we weren’t the only team.
There were a bunch of teams who struggled yesterday, and fortunately we
were one of the teams that played
particularly well today.”
UCLA holds the tournament lead with a four-over 580. The Bruins posted the low round on Saturday with a five-under 283. Host Georgia Tech is two shots back with Southern Cal and Oklahoma State tied for third at 12-over. Duke is seven shots out of third place at 19-over.
Talor Gooch (Oklahoma State) owns the 36-hole lead with a five-under 139, two shots better than Anton Arboleda (UCLA) and Michael Johnson (Auburn). Paolini is tied for ninth and five shots back of Gooch with an even-par 144.
Paolini opened the second round with birdies on No. 1 and No. 2 and added his third birdie of the day on the par 4 seventh hole to move to three-under on the day. The Virginia Beach, Va., native suffered bogeys on No. 8 and No. 10 before righting the ship with seven straight pars. Paolini closed the round with a birdie on the par 5 18th hole for a two-under 70 and his fifth under-par round of the fall.
“The conditions were tough again, but I told myself to never run out of patience and I was able to get a few putts to fall,” said Paolini. “We all knew we would bounce back as a team after yesterday. We did a great job of embracing the conditions and seeing the difficulties as opportunities to beat the other teams. We are looking forward to continuing that mindset tomorrow.”
Freshman Mads Soegaard got off to a torrid start on Saturday with five birdies over the first eight holes of play before holding on to post a one-under 71. The native of Denmark carded birdies on No. 1 and No. 4 before adding three straight birdies on No. 6-8 to get to five-under on his round. After a bogey, double-bogey stretch, Soegaard added a sixth birdie of the round on the par 5 11th hole. After back-to-back bogeys dropped him to one-under, Soegaard parred the final five holes of the day for his fifth under-par round of the fall. He enters tomorrow’s final round tied for 29th with a five-over 149.
“I was really proud of him for holing out on 13," said Green. "He hit his wedge from the
drop zone to about 15 feet from the hole and then holed that out
for bogey. I think that was a pretty great example of composure. We would
like him to be in the same
mindset regardless of the score, but the fact that he stayed calm and
got in a good frame of mind for that putt showed a lot about him as a player.”
Adam Sumrall, a senior from South Bend, Ind., moved into a tie for 40th at six-over after carding an even-par 72 in the second round. He recorded four birdies (No. 1, No. 5, No. 8 & No. 9) on the opening nine holes but also suffered a bogey (No. 3) and double-bogey (No. 7) to make the turn at one-under. Following a bogey on No. 10, Sumrall birdied the par 4 12th hole before concluding the round with five pars and a bogey (No. 17).
Senior Julian Suri and junior Austin Cody both shot five-over 77s on Saturday. Suri had a pair of birdies but also suffered two double-bogeys on the day. He is now tied for 51st with an eight-over 152. Cody collected three birdies but also had six bogeys and a double-bogey in his round. The North Charleston, S.C., native is tied for 66th at +12 (156).
Duke opens final round play on Sunday at 10:40 a.m. and will be paired with Auburn and Washington. Live scoring for the event is available at www.golfstat.com.
Follow the Duke Men’s Golf team on Twitter @Duke_MGolf.
*** Duke's two-over 290 was the fourth-lowest round of the day
*** Paolini’s two-under 70 was tied for the fourth-lowest round of the day … there have only been six rounds in the 60s over the first two rounds at the Golf Club of Georgia
*** Paolini now has 37 career under-par rounds, tied for sixth-most at Duke … he ranks third in Duke history with 57 career rounds of even-par or better golf
*** Paolini, Soegaard and Suri share the team lead with five under-par rounds this fall
*** Sumrall leads the Blue Devils with three even-par rounds
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