May 21, 2010

Kent State, Texas Share Regional Lead

 

ETSU’s Enoch Has Individual Lead

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Kent State, only three strokes behind Texas after the opening round, has pulled even at five under par (555) with the Longhorns after two rounds of the three-day NCAA Men’s Golf Regional hosted by Yale University.

The Course at Yale was more challenging on day two based on pin placements and grass cutting alone. The fact that it was dry for a second straight day made the greens that much faster and tougher.

The Golden Flashes, who have never won a national title, have advanced to 13 national championship tournaments since 1954, the last coming in 2008. KSU, which has dominated the Mid-American Conference over the last 10 years, won its 1993 and 2001 regional on the way to the championship tournament.

The Longhorns have two national championships (1971, 72 with the likes of Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite) and boast 40 All-Americans.

“A quick start out of the gate really helped today,” said Kent State head coach Herb Page. “We had to hold on at the end. I was kind of disappointed with our finish. We had a couple of bad bogeys, but the kids played great overall.”

Kent State was led by freshman Kevin Miller, who shot a 68 today and is fourth among individuals at five under par.

“I got off to a rough start with my drive on the first hole but scrambled to make a good par. That got me going, and I kept it going all day,” said Miller, who also rolled in a 35-footer with some pace on No. 11. “That would have gone eight feet past it if it didn’t hit the back of the cup,” he said referring to that early birdie on the back nine.

Rhys Enoch, of East Tennessee State, is the overall individual leader at -7 (65-68-133) after going two under today. He is one stroke better than Penn State’s Kevin Foley (67-67-134) and two in front of Texas rookie Cody Gribble (64-71-135), who tied the collegiate course record with a 64 in the first round.

South Carolina sophomore Wesley Bryan (137) had the best round of the day with a 66, four under par.  Bryan, -3 for the tournament, birdied holes 12, 13 and 14 on the way to a big day.

 Almost everyone coming off the course agreed it was tougher today than in round one.

“I didn’t know what to expect from the course, but this place does fit my game,” said Miller. “You don’t benefit from being a long hitter here, and that’s not my game. This course is tricky. There are many uphill blind shots. You have to pick your target and trust it.”

The third and final round begins at 8 a.m. on Saturday. Five teams and one individual not from one of those squads, will advance to the national finals next month in Tennessee.

Photo Gallery

 

Here’s What the Players/Coaches Think of The Course at Yale

 

 

George Bryan, sophomore player

University of South Carolina

“It’s tricky but fun. It challenges all aspects of your game. Whoever wins here is going to be

playing the best. You are not getting through here by being lucky. It’s all about your skills when

playing this course.”

 

John Fields, Head Coach

University of Texas

“It’s a thrill for our guys to come and play a piece of golf history. C.B. Macdonald did an

outstanding job almost 90 years ago. It really has stood the test of time. We feel very fortunate to

be able to come and compete on this course.”

 

Patrick Rada, senior player

University of South Carolina

“It is beautiful, and it’s obvious Yale has put a lot of work into it. The condition is second to

none. It has a lot of character and elevation change. It’s a fun course to play. Every hole seems

different than the other 17.”

 

Clint Tolleson, sophomore player

University of South Carolina

“It is very interesting and a lot of fun. The nature element sets it apart. We saw deer and turkey,

and it felt like an old fashioned golf course. The greens gave it lot of character, each of them

very different but equally hard.”

 

Chris Rockwell, senior player

Vanderbilt University

“It’s an awesome course. It’s like opening up a time capsule. It reminds me of Prestwick (Yale’s

12th is named after a hole on that course) and the Old Course at St. Andrew. Our team took a trip

there last summer. We all thought the Yale course reminded us of the courses over there. Having

played over there will help us here this week.”

 

Rich Mueller, head coach

Columbia University

“I like it but it’s tricky. Whoever putts the best will win. You have to know where to hit it. You

really need to trust yourself and your instincts. It can be very deceiving and there are a lot of

blind shots.”

 

report and Kevin Miller image filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director