May 25, 2014
HUTCHINSON, Kan. - Matt Gilchrest sank a birdie putt on the par-4 18th, one of only four back-nine birdies for Auburn on the day, as the team concluded the second round of the NCAA Championships in a three-way tie for 11th at plus-6 at Prairie Dunes Country Club.
Gilchrest’s putt helped Auburn hold on to a top-15 spot and a place in Monday’s third round. Coming down the stretch Auburn was in danger of falling back into the bottom 16 of the standings, meaning the team would play its third round roughly an hour after finishing its second round on Sunday.
“It was pretty big,” Auburn head coach Nick Clinard said of Gilchrest’s 18th hole birdie. “I wish that (birdie) putt (on 18) would have fell for Nic (Carlsson), but it was big putt. It’s supposed to be windy tomorrow and I knew it was going to play really hard this afternoon with the wind blowing. I’m glad we have a chance tomorrow. Anything can happen.”
“I was frustrated with my play from 11 through 17, so it was nice to hole a long putt,” Gilchrest said. “I didn’t feel like I had my best stuff today. I hit a few shots close and got on the bogey-train for five holes. It’s okay to make a bogey or two but it just stinks when you string them together, miss a few putts, and that gets into your head.”
Gilchrest (67-73--140) finished the round plus-3, as did Carlsson (68-73--141), Will Long (68-73--141) and Daniel Stringfellow (71-73--144). Jake Mondy (71-76--147) shot plus-6 on the day.
“We got off to a ham-and-egg type start,” Clinard said. “Jake got off to a bad start and was 6-over quickly so we were playing with four guys. It’s hard to play a US Open-style course four-legged.”
Once again rain was a factor for the 15 teams in Auburn’s wave. The second round got underway at 7 a.m., with Auburn teeing off at 7:20 a.m., only to get 2 hours and 42 minutes of golf in before the horn blew. The stoppage was the fourth of the tournament and lasted 1 hour, 40 minutes, with each stoppage coming while Auburn was on the course, totaling 9 hours and 50 minutes.
At the time of the stoppage, Auburn was in third at minus-6, two strokes behind Alabama ad six behind Stanford, both of which completed their second rounds on Saturday. Stringfellow had made it through 11 and was minus-1 while Mondy was through 10 and plus-4. Long was about to chip at the green on the ninth and was plus-1 while Gilchrest was minus-1 through eight and Carlsson was plus-1 through seven. Gilchrest’s 4-under for the tournament at the time of the stoppage was tied for third with five others, only one of which was still playing the second round.
Auburn’s counted scores were a combined even-par at the turn and a collective plus-12 on the back nine. Mondy was plus-5 on the front nine and a team-low plus-1 on the back.
“We hung in there,” Clinard said. “We came back from the rain delay and the wind was blowing 20 miles per hour. It’s the luck of the draw. We hit some bad shots, had too many 3-putts and just didn’t get it done on some of the harder stretch of holes. We have to regroup and get ready for tomorrow.”
Stanford, which shot 13-under while playing its second round on Saturday’, is the overall leader at minus-12 (281-267--548). Alabama (274-278--552) is second at minus-2, Oklahoma State (277-279--556) is third at minus-4, LSU (279-278--557) is fourth at minus-3 and Georgia Tech (277-282--559) rounds out the top-5 at minus-1.
Cameron Wilson (71-63--134) of Stanford is the individual lead at minus-6.
Due to the rain the NCAA cancelled Monday’s individual round. The 30 teams will be cut down to the top eight following the completion of the third round on Monday. The top eight teams will play match play on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the championship match taking place on Wednesday.
Live scoring for the championships are available on GolfStat.com.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS - PRAIRIE DUNES CC (Par 70)
|Team Standings - Second Round|
|3.||2 Oklahoma State||277-279--556||-4|
|5.||4 Georgia Tech||277-282--559||-1|
|9.||24 South Carolina||272-292--564||+4|
|Auburn Individual Results|