May 18, 2007
ALPHARETTA, Ga. -
Sophomore All-SEC Glenn Northcutt fired a 5-under 67 Friday to help the Auburn men's golf team move up three spots into third with a 284 for a 577 total after the NCAA East Regional second round at the par-72, 7017-yard Lakeside Course at the Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta, Ga.
The Tigers have a 16-shot cushion from 11th-place Central Florida and Georgia State as the top 10 teams in the 27-team field advance to the NCAA Championship.
Auburn's 284 was the low round of the day and put the Tigers within three shots of first.
Top-ranked Georgia took the lead with a 288 for a 574 total, one shot ahead of No. 7 Florida (290-285--575). Auburn is in third at 293-284--577 followed by No. 10 Georgia Tech (284-294--578), No. 24 Duke (288-293--581), No. 20 Charlotte (296-291--587), No. 12 Coastal Carolina (300-290--590), No. 23 North Carolina (305-286--591), No. 25 Florida State (300-292--592) and No. 11 Clemson (293-299--592) to round out the top 10.
"As much as you want to win this tournament, it's not the goal of this tournament," head coach Mike Griffin said. "However, we are all saying we want to win this tournament. If you play to win, you play well, and I know that is what we will do."
Northcutt, who began the day tied for 79th, reeled off four straight birdies on Nos. 7-10, then birdied the 18th for a 67, tying Jimmy Green (1991) and Lee Williams (2001) for the second lowest individual round by an Auburn golfer in an NCAA Regional. The Dothan, Ala., native moved up 71 spots and is tied for eighth at even-par 144, seven strokes off the lead.
"I played real well and solid," Northcutt said. "I struggled a little bit yesterday, but fortunately all the other guys backed me up and took care of business. Today, I was able to help and do my part. We are in real good position for tomorrow. We have to go out and play great and see where it puts us."
Junior All-SEC Patton Kizzire followed his opening round 71 with an even-par 72 and is tied for fifth at 1-under 143, six shots off the lead. He got off to a sizzling start, carding birdies on four of his first five holes to gain sole possession of first place, but went 4-over the rest of the day.
"I got off to a great start and did what I needed to do," Kizzire said. "My putts were falling early. The main thing is our team put ourselves in the hunt and in position to win the tournament. We just need to go out there tomorrow and play like we know how we can play."
Junior Steven Groover turned in another solid round with a 1-over 73, and is tied for 11th at 1-over 145. After bogeys on the first two holes, Groover went 1-under the remainder of the round. Junior Jay Moseley shot an even-par 72 to jump 26 spots into a tie for 25th with a 75-72--147. Junior Jamie Bowen is tied for 99th with a 75-81--156.
"We have a great group of little competitors," Griffin said. "The further they get into a tournament the better they get with the golf course.
"I am really proud of Glenn and Patton both because they were responsible for putting us on the leaderboard so our other guys could see that and feed off of that. Patton was 4-under and Glenn 5-under and that put is in position. I think that helped set the stage for a good round today. I know they are excited about tomorrow and are probably ready to tee off now."
Central Florida (299-294--593) and Georgia State (289-304--593) are tied for 11th, one shot behind both Florida State and Clemson, who are on the cutline. Virginia Tech is in 13th at 304-292--596 followed by Penn State (297-304--601), UAB (303-299--602), Jacksonville State (303-301--604), Chattanooga (299-306--605), Maryland (295-310--605), Ole Miss (309-297--606) and Eastern Michigan (300-310--610) to round out the top 20.
Old Dominion (314-301--615) is in 21st ahead of St. John's (316-302--618), Louisiana-Lafayette (309-319--628), Rhode Island (321-309--630), Boston College (315-316--631), Longwood (309-326--635) and Hartford (321-315--636).
Georgia Tech's Cameron Tringale continues to hold the individual lead with a 67-70--137, two shots ahead of Georgia's Brendan Todd (70-69--139).
Auburn tees off in Saturday's third and final round at 6:00 am Central on the No. 1 tee with Georgia and Florida. Live-scoring of all three NCAA Regionals is available at www.golfstat.com. The NCAA Championship, which Auburn has advanced to 14 times and 10 since 1993, is May 30-June 2 at the Golden Horseshoe in Williamsburg, Va.