LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The No. 7-ranked University of Oregon men's golf team dropped two spots after struggling in the second round of the NCAA Championships on Wednesday, May 31. The Ducks (291-294-585) finished in a tie for 13th place, shooting 10-over on the day and is 17-over after two rounds at the par-71 Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles, Calif.
“We had a tough stretch on the back-side but we’re still in the hunt,” Oregon Head Coach Casey Martin said. “If we have a great round tomorrow, we’ll get in there. But that’s what it’s down to, we’ve got to play great tomorrow.”
The Ducks saw a disappointing round of 294 today, but only sit one stroke back from a five-way tie for eighth place. Tomorrow completes the last day of the 54-hole event, where the top eight teams advance to match play with the quarterfinal on Friday, June 1, semifinal on Saturday, June 2, and final on Sunday, June 3.
Second-ranked Alabama (285-287-572) stayed atop the leader board, owning a four-stroke lead over No. 5 UCLA (289=287-576), who moved into second place after shooting three-over in the second round and is now eight-over par after two rounds. No. 19 Florida State (290-290-580) rounds out the top three after repeating their score of six-over from yesterday, finishing 12-over after day two.
Daniel Miernicki (73-70-143) stepped up for the Ducks, shooting one-under 70 and moving up 37 spots into a tie for ninth place overall. The Santee, Calif. native got off to a good start, birdying his first three holes. He stayed at three-under through 12 holes before struggling on the 13th hole by shooting a triple-bogey seven. He battled back to shoot a birdie on the 16th hole and par the last two holes to finish under-par.
The senior shot his 25th round of par or better on the season and a school-record 90th career-wise.
“There are a couple of holes on the backside that are really difficult – numbers 10 through 15 is just a brutal stretch of golf,” Martin said. “The 13th hole in particular just crushed us. We had a bunch of bogeys (on that hole) and then Daniel was 3-under and he tripled-(bogey) it, and he doesn’t normally do that. That’s where we took a big hit and we paid for it, but hopefully we won’t do that tomorrow because we can’t afford that.”
Yesterday’s leader for Oregon, senior Andrew Vijarro (70-75-145) struggled on the day, falling from 10th place into a tie for 27th after shooting four-over. The senior posted two birdies, four bogeys and one double bogey.
The Pac-12 Player of the Year, Eugene Wong (72-74-146), struggled for a second day, finishing at three-over par in the second round, falling into 38th place. The senior had a couple bad breaks, hitting the flag on his approach shot on the 17th hole that would have been a kick-in birdie, but instead kicked back into the bunker for a bogey. He carded two bogeys and no birdies on the front nine and three bogeys and one birdie on the back nine.
On the individual leaderboard, Illinois’ Thomas Pieters (69-68-137) jumped up into first place in the second round after shooting a field-best three-under par. UCLA’s Anton Arboleda (67-72-139) fell one spot into a tie for second place with Florida’s Tyler McCumber (68-71-139), both sit at three-under 139 overall.
Freshman Jonathan Woo (76-75-151) improved his score from yesterday by one shot, shooting four-over 75. Redshirt junior Robbie Ziegler (76-84-160) carded a 13-over in the second round.
“We had a few bad things happen to us today that we need to overcome tomorrow,” Martin said. “But these guys are experienced – they want it – and we’re going to give it everything tomorrow.”
Oregon tees off at 1:40pm and hopes to have an impressive round in order to jump into the top eight and move on to match play on Friday June 1.
More regional and NCAA championship information is available at www.NCAAsports.com.
1- Alabama (285-287-572), 2- UCLA (289-287-576), 3- Florida State (290-290-580), T4- Oklahoma (289-292-581), T-4 North Florida (290-291-581), 6- Washington (296-286-582), 7- Liberty (295-288-583), T8 California (295-289-584), T8- Kent State (293-291-584), T8- Florida (288-296-584), T8- USC (298-286-584), T8- Illinois (295-289-584), T-13 Oregon (291-294-585).
1- Thomas Pieters: Illinois (69-68-137), T2- Anton Arboleda: UCLA (67-72-139), T2- Tyler McCumber: Florida (68-71-139), 4- Justin Thomas: Alabama (70-70-140), T5- Chase Marinelli: Liberty (71-70-141), T5- Patrick Rodgers: Stanford (69-72-141), T5- Cory Whitsett: Alabama (73-68-141), T8- Abraham Ancer: Oklahoma (70-72-141), T8- Jonathan Fly: Memphis (71-71-142), T10- Daniel Miernicki: Oregon (73-70-143), T25- Andrew Vijarro: Oregon (70-75-145), T37- Eugene Wong: Oregon (72-74-146), T92- Jonathan Woo: Oregon (76-75-151), 151- Robbie Ziegler: Oregon (76-84-160)