NCAA Regional Day Two Recap

Updated 5/18/2012
Courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments

Live Scoring

ROUND TWO
Round Two Results
Four Players Under Par Has No. 18 Kent State A Shot Back At NCAA Regional
ANN ARBOR, Mich. —
The penultimate round of a golf tournament is commonly known as moving day, but at the 2012 NCAA Central Regional is was separation day for No. 18 Kent State and the rest of the leaders.  After all four counters for the Golden Flashes shot under-par at the University of Michigan Golf Course on Friday as the team finds itself amongst a three-team cluster that is are all within one shot of the lead.  

With only five shots separating eight teams at the start of the day, Kent State's -8, 276 stood as the third best team score of the afternoon and provides the Golden Flashes with a seven-shot advantage over the cut line heading into Saturday's final round.  The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each of the six regional sites advance to the finals.  

"We played probably as good as we were going to play out there today.  We figured we'd be near the top and its still pretty tight up there with the top four teams, but we gained a little bit of separation over No. 5 and 6 which is so important,"  said Kent State Director of Golf/Head Coach Herb Page, whose team is in a three-way tie for second with Oregon (-6) and TCU (-6) and one back of USC (-7).  

With back-to-back top 20 finishes already to his credit Kevin Miller (Dover, Ohio) is not stranger to success during NCAA Regional play.  With an -3, 68 today, the junior tied the eighth lowest round by a Kent State player in a NCAA Regional.  Miller  started off slow with a bogey on No. 2, but a string of birdies on Nos. 6, 8 & 9 dropped him to -2 at the turn.  He then added another birdie on No. 13 before finishing steady with five straight pars.  

Senior Mackenzie Hughes (Dundas, Ontario) and sophomore Corey Conners (Listowel, Ontario) backed up Miller's performance each shooting a -2, 69.  Sophomore Taylor Pendrith (Richmond Hill, Ontario) added a -1, 70 to give the Kent State team the second lowest single round NCAA Regional score in program history.  Only a 273 at Victoria Country Club in Texas during the 2000 is lower.  

"We had all five guys in the game right out of the gate and they just all kept working their way around," said Page.  "We even had it down to -10 at one point.  There weren't many birdies down the stretch, but we played steady golf and put up a solid number."

Hughes (T-9),Conners (T-12), Miller (T-16) and Pendrith (T-19) are all in the top 20 of the individual standings.  Sophomore Kyle Kmiecik (Avon, Ohio) rounded out the line-up on Friday adding a +2, 73.

The hole of the day for Kent State had to be No. 6 as all five players in the line-up made birdie.  This coming a day after the five players combined to shoot +4 on the same hole.  

"It was a little different from yesterday where we had a couple of accidents," said Page on the par 4, 309-yard 6th. "The pin was a little more accessible on the lower level of the green today and I'm sure tomorrow it will be back up and in a tougher position.  

The top four are followed by Virginia (E) in fifth and Notre Dame (+1) in sixth.  Final round action starts at 8:40 am tomorrow for Kent State which will be paired with Oregon and USC.  

"We just have to worry about ourselves tomorrow and get off to a good start," concluded Page.  "If you get off to a good start that separation gets a little bigger and puts pressure on the people chasing the final spot.  The key is to not let up.  There are too many good teams out here to let up because no lead is safe.  You have to keep playing and grinding right to the end."


(Akron) Charlie Bull Climbs the Leaderboard at NCAA Regionals
ANN ARBOR, Mich. –
University of Akron sophomore golfer Charlie Bull used a four-birdie, four-bogey round to climb 10 spots and is now tied for 38th place after day two of the 2012 NCAA Central Regional Championship at the par-71, 6,723-yard U-M Golf Course.

Bull carded a round of even-par 71 on Friday, including a birdie on his 17th hole to move to even par. He started the day with a birdie on the par-3 12th hole after teeing off from the 10th tee. However, bogeys on the 13th and 15th holes sent him to the turn at 1-over. A birdie-bogey-birdie start to his final nine holes moved him to even par with six holes remaining. He would go on to bogey the fifth hole before sinking a birdie putt on the eighth green.

For the week, Bull has a 36-hole score of 5-over 147.

TCU's Julien Brun, the day one leader, saw Albin Choi of North Carolina State join him atop the leaderboard with a two-day total of 7-under 135. USC rocketed up the leaderboard, taking the day-two lead thanks to a round of 12-under 272 to finish with a team total of 7-under 561. USC was in sixth to open the day.

Tee times for the final round are set to begin on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. ET, with Bull's threesome set to tee off at 9:10 a.m. from the 10th tee. Fans can catch all of the action live via Golfstat Live Scoring.

The top five teams and top individual not on an advancing team will move on the to the NCAA Championship, which will be held at the Rivera Country Club in Los Angeles from May 29 through June 3.


(Ball State) Tyler Merkel Tied for 46th at NCAA Golf Regional
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -
Tyler Merkel, a sophomore member of the Ball State men's golf team, is tied for 46th after two rounds of the NCAA Regional in Ann Arbor, Mich.  The third and final round is scheduled for Saturday, and Merkel will begin with a 9:40 tee time off of hole No. 10.

Merkel fired a 76 in the second round after tallying a 73 in Thursday's first round.  His 149 total is seven over par on the par 71 University of Michigan Golf Course.

Merkel started Friday's second round on the 10th hole and managed one birdie in the first nine holes to make the turn with a three over par 38.  He birdied his 10th hole to get to plus two, but a string of bogies left him with a two over par 38 on the second nine.

Merkel's appearance in the NCAA Regional marks the second year in a row a Ball State individual has advanced to the Regional.  Eric Steger tallied a 73-76-78 in last year's NCAA Regional at Wolf Run Golf Course in Zionsville, Ind., and tied for 49th.


ROUND ONE
Round One Results
No. 18 Kent State Second At NCAA Regional After Round One
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — No. 18 Kent State survived a competitive first round of competition at the men's golf NCAA Central Regional at the University of Michigan Golf Course on Thursday.  A hot start and a solid finish were driving forces behind the Golden Flashes +2, 286 which leaves the team in second place and three shots above the cut line.  

"We were off to a great start and had a big lull in the middle, but this is a resilient group," said Kent State Director of Golf/Head Coach Herb Page, who is coaching in his 21st regional for the Golden Flashes. "They have been grinding out solid scores all year long and today was just another one of those rounds.  The really good finish helped a lot today helped us get back into a good position."

Playing his 16th career NCAA post season round, senior Mackenzie Hughes (Dundas, Ontario) lead the team with an opening round 70.  With birdies on No. 6 and No. 11 against one bogey on No. 8 on the par 71, 6,723-yard layout, Hughes -1 score has him tied for eighth, three back of the leaders.  Sophomore Corey Conners (Listowel, Ontario), the 2012 Mid-American Conference Golfer of the Year, is right behind him in a tie for 15th with an even par 71 that included six birdies. 

The other two counters for the Golden Flashes came by the way of sophomore Taylor Pendrith (Richmond Hill, Ontario) who shot a +1 72 and junior Kevin Miller (Dover, Ohio) who came in at +2, 73.


(Akron) Charlie Bull Tied for 48th at NCAA Regional Championship
ANN ARBOR, Mich. –
University of Akron sophomore golfer Charlie Bull is tied for 48th place after the first day of the 2012 NCAA Central Regional Championship at the par-71, 6,723-yard U-M Golf Course.

Bull posted a round of 5-over 76 over the first 18 holes. He made the turn at one over, but had some troubles on holes 12 and 17. Play was slowed earlier in the morning, with the tournament delayed one hour due to frost.

TCU's Julien Brun helped lead his squad to the day-one lead on the team leaderboard as the Horned Frogs posted a 6-under 278. Brun is tied for two others atop the individual leaderboard thanks to a round of 4-under 67.

Tee times for round two are set to begin on Friday at 8 a.m. ET, with Bull's threesome set to tee off at 10:10 a.m. from the 10th tee. The regional event will consist of 54 holes, with 18 holes played each day (Thursday-Saturday). Fans can catch all of the action live via Golfstat Live Scoring.

The top five teams and top individual not on an advancing team will move on the to the NCAA Championship, which will be held at the Rivera Country Club in Los Angeles from May 29 through June 3.


(Ball State) Tyler Merkel Tied for 31st at NCAA Golf Regional
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -
Tyler Merkel, a sophomore member of the Ball State men's golf team, is tied for 31st place after the first round of the NCAA Regional in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Merkel managed a two over par 73 in Thursday's first round.  The NCAA Regional second round will continue Friday and Merkel is scheduled for a 9:50 tee time.  The third and final round is slated for Saturday.  The event is taking place at the University of Michigan Golf Course on the Wolverine's campus.

Merkel struggled through a 41 on the front nine, but tallied a 32 on the back side.  A birdie on the 414-yard, par four, ninth hole began a stretch of three straight birdies for Merkel.  He birdied the 13th hole to get to two over par and made pars on the final five holes for the final 73.

The NCAA Regional will advance the top five teams and the top individual not on one of the advancing teams to the NCAA Championships May 29-June 3 at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

There is a three-way tie of 67's atop the leaderboard after the first round.

Merkel is scheduled to play Friday's second round with Tim Shield of Navy and Greg Matthias of Delaware.