TCU moves into tie for eighth at Central Regional
May 19, 2006
CHARDON, Ohio - The TCU men's golf team entered the all-important top 10 on Friday after a gutsy second-round 297 (+13) at the NCAA Central Regional. Heading into Saturday's final round, the 14th-seeded Horned Frogs are tied for eighth place with Big 12 champion Oklahoma and eighth-ranked Clemson for the final three spots in the 2006 NCAA Championships.
The Central Regional, which experts considered the deepest of the three regions thanks to 18 top-50 squads among the 27-team field, has lived up to its billing. TCU's two-round total of 590 (+22) is just three strokes behind seventh-place Duke (587), but only five in front of SMU (595), who occupies 15th place. The logjam sets up a classic final round, as nearly half the field will be vying for the final seven bids to the NCAA Championships. Only second-ranked Oklahoma State (565), No. 28 Northwestern (574) and sixth-rated Texas A&M (575) have distanced themselves from the pack.
For the second straight day, the Horned Frogs used a late surge to move up the leaderboard at the Sand Ridge Golf Club (par 71, 7,173 yards). TCU's final three golfers, Jon McLean, Tom Miles and Drew Laning combined to play the final three holes of the day (Nos. 7-9) at 4-under. McLean had a pair of birdies, while Miles and Laning picked up one each.
"We have really hung in," TCU head coach Bill Montigel said. "We have such a young team and the guys are really grinding it out. It will take a very strong performance from all five golfers on Saturday in order to reach the NCAAs. There are so many good teams playing for a few spots, but we're fortunate to be one of them."
Miles leaped from 34th place into a share of eighth after a spectacular round of 69 (-2). Playing in his home state, the freshman logged four birdies and just two bogeys to match the second best score of the day. The 69 equaled Miles' career-best collegiate round and put him in position for his second straight top-10 finish. Just seven of the field's 141 golfers broke par on Friday, after 16 players were in red numbers Thursday.
A pair of Frogs, junior Drew Stoltz and McLean, are tied for 38th place with 36-hole sums of 148 (+6). Stoltz recorded a 4-over-par 75 on Friday, while McLean, a freshman, scored a 76. Stoltz was just 1-over with four holes to play, while McLean was 7-over with three remaining.
Laning, a senior, and sophomore Franklin Corpening share the 89th position at 154 (+12). Laning notched his second straight 77 (+6), while Corpening had an 8-over 79 on day two.
TCU begins final-round action Saturday at 6:47 a.m. (CDT). Live hole-by-hole scoring will be available on www.golfstat.com. The top 10 squads and top two individual finishers on non-qualifying teams from each of the three regional sites will compete at the NCAA Championships May 31-June 3 at the Sunriver Resort's Crosswater Club in Sunriver, Ore., the site of last month's Mountain West Conference Championships.