May 27, 2009
TOLEDO, Ohio - The ninth-ranked Alabama men's golf team fired a 4-over-par 288 in the second round of the 2009 NCAA Men's Golf Championships on the par-71, 7,255-yard Inverness Club on Wednesday.
The Crimson Tide teed off early (7 a.m. EDT), but four UA golfers were still on the course at 11:40 a.m. (EDT) when a 4-hour, 25-minute rain and lightening delay began. Matthew Swan was Tide's lone golfer to finish his round before lightening halted play, carding an even-par 71. The Alabama's final four golfers resumed their round at 4:05 p.m. (EDT).
"We scored a lot better than yesterday, but I still felt like we left some shots on the course," Alabama head coach Jay Seawell said following Wednesday's second round. "The golf course was susceptible today. We just have to make some more putts, and we have one more round to do that in. I think if we can make some putts tomorrow we will be okay."
Alabama is at 18-over-par 586 after 36 holes of the 112th NCAA Championships. Half of the field had yet to tee off when the Tide finished its second round, but Oklahoma State, who played with the Tide on Wednesday, finished with a 4-under-par 280 and will enter the third round with the lead at even-par 568. Georgia is second at 5-over 573.
Alabama got even-par 71s from its two seniors in the lineup, Swan and Matt Hughes. Swan bogeyed three of his first five holes but rebounded with four birdies and just one bogey over his final 11 holes of the second round. He is 2-over-par 144 after 36 holes of golf to pace the Tide.
"I'm proud of both of those seniors," Seawell said. "You have to have that leadership at the NCAAs. Both of them played a very good round, but we need that and a little more tomorrow."
Hughes' 71 matched his lowest round of the season and left him at 6-over 148. The Dalton, Ga. native opened with a bogey on the first hole but birdied the eighth and 10th hole to get to 1-under on the round. A bogey on the 14th moved him back to even par. Hughes was on the 17th green when the weather delay began and finished with two pars after play resumed.
"It means a lot to come out and put a good score up," Matt Hughes said. "I'm glad everybody on our team came out and played better today, and I think the scoreboard reflected that. It was tough conditions today having to start and stop and start all over again. It was a good day, but there are definitely areas to improve on. But, I think we got ourselves into position to be where we want to be at the end of the day tomorrow."
After the worst round of his Alabama career on Tuesday, freshman Bud Cauley showed why he was named the SEC Freshman of the Year with a 1-over-par round of 72. He birdied the third and the 16th hole with bogeys on the ninth, 11th and 13th.
Redshirt freshman Spencer Cole may have gotten the toughest break of the day for the Tide with a long-greenside bunker shot on the short side of the pin on the 18th hole when the lightening delay started. After the long delay, Cole launched his bunker shot over the back of the green and closed with a double-bogey and a 3-over-par round of 74. The Greer, S.C. native is 7-over 149 after two rounds of play.
Redshirt freshman Hunter Hamrick posted a 5-over 76 in round two with a double bogey on the 16th hole and a bogey on the 18th. He is 7-over-par 149 after 36 holes.