The Chattanooga Mocs shot 300 in Saturday’s afternoon wave at the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships. The Scenic City lads are 27th with a 594 total through 36 holes at Grayhawk Golf Club. That’s four behind Duke and one clear of Colorado State.
Garrett Engle led the way with 3-over 73. John Houk was one behind with 74, while Samuel Espinosa is another stroke back at 75. Paul Conroy completed the team tally with 78 just ahead of Braedon Wear’s 79.
“The course played tough, as expected, and we didn’t have our best stuff today,” Coach Blaine Woodruff explained.
“Par is always a really good score out here. That’s kind of against the nature of a golfer to ‘settle for pars’, but I think our guys are seeing that with a lot of really good teams struggling out here.”
The Mocs began their day in a tie for 19th with No. 14 Texas A&M at 14 over. The Aggies turned in a 5-over 285 in the morning wave as the good guys rose seven spots on the leaderboard as morning rounds were posted. They could not get things going, however.
Birdies were scarce with just seven on the round today. The squad sat at 10 over at the turn but could not make their move. The back side start was treacherous with reaching 21 over through 15. Birdies from Houk at 16 and Espinosa at 18 gave the coaches a good feeling heading into tomorrow’s third round.
“We played the last three holes at 1 under,” Woodruff added. “It means a lot. Even though we didn’t have our best stuff, the guys kept battling and never gave up. There are a lot of good teams within range for us including the defending national champions.
“We have a lot to play for Sunday.”
Espinosa’s 147 is the low 36-hole score for the squad. Conroy and Engle are close at 148 with Houk’s 151 up next. Wear is behind him at 156.
Chattanooga tees off Sunday at 3:37 p.m., Eastern time. The eye is on the top 15 to advance to Monday with the eventual goal of a top eight medal finish to move on to play for the National Championship through Tuesday and Wednesday’s match play. The Mocs tee off No. 10 paired with Duke and New Mexico.
Scoring and pairings, when available, are linked above along with a comprehensive results package when the rounds end.
NCAA Championships - Finals
May 26-31 (Fri-Wed) | Scottsdale, Ariz. | 72 holes (18 per day)
27th of 30: 294-300=594
3:37 pm (ET) - Braedon Wear: T150, 77-79=156
3:48 pm (ET) - John Houk: T122, 77-74=151
3:59 pm (ET) - Garrett Engle: T95, 75-73=148
4:10 pm (ET) - Paul Conroy: T95, 70-78=148
4:21 pm (ET) - Samuel Espinosa: T84, 72-75=147
Alternate: Alec Cobb: 73.00
Grayhawk Golf Cub | Par 70 | 7,289 yards
(30 teams + 6 Individuals): (28 Seed) Chattanooga, (1) Vanderbilt), (2) North Carolina, (3) Illinois, (4) Arizona State, (5) Texas Tech, (6) Stanford, (7) Florida State, (8) Pepperdine, (9) Florida, (10) Oklahoma, (11) Georgia Tech, (12) Auburn, (13), Texas A&M, (14) Alabama, (15) Virginia, (16) Texas, (17) Mississippi State, (18) Oregon, (19) Colorado State, (20) Colorado State, (21) Georgia, (22) Arkansas, (23) Baylor, (24) Duke, (25) ETSU, (26) BYU, (27) San Francisco, (29) New Mexico & (30) Colorado. Indys: (1) Drew Salyers, Indiana; (2) Jonas Baumgartner (Oklahoma State); (3) Riley Lewis, Loyola Marymount; (4) Luke O’Neill, Kansas State; (5) Sam Lape, Furman; (6) Will King, Kansas