KISSIMMEE, Fla. – A big day from Evan DeGrazia amongst unfavorable course conditions provided a spark for Newberry on the second day of the NCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championships, allowing the Wolves to retain fifth place and remain in position to advance to Thursday’s match play quarterfinals.
The senior team captain started his round in remarkable fashion, beginning the day with birdies on four of his first six holes, including a string of three in a row. He made the turn at three under and returned to the clubhouse even on the day, giving Newberry its top score and settling into a tie for 17th position at two over for the tournament.
The steady Carlos Leandro was two over on the day for the Wolves and is now tied for 23rd overall. Leandro had a pair of birdies in his round, shooting one over on both the front and back nine. He is now three strokes over par for the tournament.
Tied with Leandro in 23rd is Harry Bolton, whose round was tantalizingly close to being one of the day’s best. The sophomore watched putts come rest on the edge of the hole, lip out, or settle inches short on four consecutive holes on his back nine.
Spencer Skiff was five over for the day and now sits in 51st position at seven over. Ben Thompson is tied for 91st but played his best round of the tournament Tuesday, scoring consecutive birdies on holes 15 and 16 on his way to a three-birdie round.
Competitors in the second wave of tee times had to battle through an hourlong weather delay that began just before 5:00 p.m. when lightning was detected within eight miles of the course. All five Newberry players were among those whose rounds were interrupted.
Only one position changed hands among the top six teams on the leaderboard on Tuesday, with Ferris State moving from seventh into a fifth-place tie with Newberry and Le Moyne falling two spots to eighth. Cal State Monterey Bay is one stroke behind Le Moyne for the eighth and final berth into match play. The Wolves are currently five strokes clear of CSUMB.
Third-ranked Barry was the only team to shoot under par in Tuesday’s difficult, blustery conditions, extending their lead by two strokes over second-place and top-ranked West Florida. The Bucs are eight under for the tournament after carding a two-under 278 Tuesday.
The Argonauts have a five-stroke lead over Florida Tech, which sits in third place a stroke over par. Florida Southern is fourth at two over.
Stroke play concludes with 18 holes on Wednesday, which will see an individual national champion crowned and the whittling of the 20-team field down to eight. Teams will tee off with a shotgun start at 9:00 a.m.
The advancing teams will compete in Thursday’s match play quarterfinals beginning at 7:30 or 8:20 Thursday morning. Match play semifinals begin at 1:30 and 2:20 in the afternoon with the finals set for Friday.