TCU Golfers Stretch Lead to 19 at C-USA Championships
April 19, 2005
GULFPORT, Miss. (Apr. 19, 2005) - On Tuesday, the 11th-ranked TCU men's golf team moved one step closer to becoming the first athletics team in school history to win five straight league championships, as the Horned Frogs increased their lead to 19 strokes over second-place Charlotte (579) during round two of three at the 2005 Conference USA Championships at The Grand Bear Golf Club (7,093 yards, par 72) in Gulfport, Miss. All five TCU golfers reside among the field's top 12, and the Frogs' Colby Beckstrom and Drew Stoltz hold down the top two positions.
"We've had a great team effort the first two days," head coach Bill Montigel said. "All of the guys have really played hard and played well. We've put ourselves in a good position through two rounds. We just have to maintain that consistent play again tomorrow."
Of the 28 rounds completed by the 14 schools, TCU owns top two scores, a 10-under 278 on Monday and a 6-under 282 today. Just six of the field's 70 participants broke par in the second round, but three were Horned Frogs.
Beckstrom, who entered the day in second place by one shot, took the clubhouse lead after posting a 1-under 71. A first-team all-league performer in 2004 and the 2003 C-USA Freshman of the Year, Beckstrom was a solid ball striker all afternoon. After a rare errant tee shot on the 18th, Beckstrom pitched out with a low lining shot through the pine trees and was able to get up-and-down from just in front of the green for par to stay in the red. The junior standout has one career individual title, the 2003 Prestige at PGA West, and has finished in the top 20 at the Conference USA Championships in each of his previous two seasons. He has a 138 (-6) through 36 holes of the 54-hole tournament.
After a 69 (-3) on Tuesday, Stoltz is on Beckstrom's heels, just one shot behind the leader. Stoltz was hot with the putter throughout the round, rolling in a 20-foot birdie on No. 15 and saving several pars with putts of 5-10 feet. The Fort Collins, Colo. product played the front nine at 3-under and was even-par on the back side to scoot into sole possession of second place at 139 (-5). His career-best finish is a tie for 19th at the National Invitational Tournament in late March.
"I hit the ball great on the front and really poor on the back," Stoltz said. "But I made some par saves and was able to hang in there. I was leaking fuel coming in and was just ready to be done with the round."
Senior David Schultz also fired a 3-under 69 in round two to move into a tie for fifth place with a 141 (-3). Just shy of the green in two on the 548-yard, par-5 15th, Schultz chipped in for eagle from 15 yards to get to minus-3. He was under par on both sides, posting a 35 on the front and 34 on the second nine. He is looking for his second straight top-5 finish at the C-USA Championships.
James Sacheck finished 3-over-par (75) on Tuesday and now dons an even-par 144 over 36 holes. The true freshman had 15 pars and three bogeys on the day, and currently is tied for ninth place overall. An all-freshman candidate, the Zionsville, Ind. native is eyeing his first career top-20 placing.
Meanwhile, senior J.J. Killeen is tied for 12th place after his second consecutive round of 73 (+1). Killeen had back-to-back birdies on Nos. 3 and 4 en route to a 37 on the way out in the morning. He has finished outside of the top 20 just once all season.
Since joining the league in 2002, the Horned Frogs have won all three league championships, three C-USA Coach of the Year titles and two C-USA Player of the Year awards. The Conference USA champion receives an automatic bid to the 2005 NCAA Regionals, an event TCU has reached each year since 1990. The 2005 All-Conference USA honorees will be announced following the final round.
TCU will begin final-round play on Wednesday morning at 8:15 a.m. (CT). There is no live scoring of the event on the internet. Results will be posted on www.gofrogs.com following the completion of play.