Chants climb leaderboard in second round of NCAA

The Coastal Carolina men’s golf team shot an even-par round of 288 Tuesday and climbed two spots to 10th at the 2018 NCAA Kissimmee Regional with a 36-hole score of 578 at the par-72, 7,154-yard Watson Course at Reunion Resort.

The final round will conclude Wednesday with the top five teams advancing to the NCAA Championship.

“It was close to being a really good day today,” said head coach Jim Garren. “Our top three scores were good enough to help us make a move, but our fourth counting score was not what we needed. We fought hard and tried to get it going. The good news is, 13 shots is not a lot to overcome in college golf and stranger things have happened. We just need four scores in the 60’s tomorrow. The NCAA now allows schools to change their lineups with substitutions so we are going to throw Andrew (Roy) in to see if he can do something special. We will need a special day from everyone tomorrow.”

Florida, ranked eighth nationally, leads the 14-team field with a total of 551, followed by host UCF (556), #29 Kent State (560), #20 South Florida (563), #44 Colorado State (565), #5 Vanderbilt (565) and #17 North Carolina (565). Also ahead of the Chants are #32 Arizona (571) and #41 Purdue (573).

Sophomore States Fort jumped 10 spots in the leaderboard after firing a 1-under par 71 Tuesday. He is currently tied for 23rd with a two-day total of 143 (72-71) – one stroke off his career-best score for 36 holes. On Tuesday, Fort, who started on the back nine as did all the Chanticleers, birdied holes 14 and 15 before dropping a shot on hole 16 to make the turn at 1-under par. After a total of seven straight pars, he birdied the par-4 6th hole but suffered a bogey on his final hole to settle for his 71. With is even par round of 72 Monday, Fort now has nine rounds of par or better this season – five over his last six rounds played.

Junior Luis Ruiz was Coastal’s top mover up the standings Tuesday, improving 15 places into tie for 32nd. He had a tough start to his day with a triple bogey on his opening hole. However, over his remaining 18 holes he carded 13 pars and five birdies for a 2-under par 70. His two-day total of 144 comes after rounds of 74 and 70. With his 2-under 70 today, Ruiz has a team-best 14 rounds of par or better this season.

Like Fort, Morgan Deneen also shot a 71 and also jumped 10 spots in the standings. The 2018 Sun Belt Champion is tied for 46th with a 36-hole score of 146 (75-71). Deneen was 2-under after eight holes but had a double bogey on the par-4 18th hole to make him even at the turn. He started his back nine with a birdie on the par-5 1st hole. He fell back to even par with a bogey two holes later. However, he had a birdie on the par-4 6th and posted pars on his final three holes to shoot 71, his 13th round of par or better this season.

Thadd Obecny II and Daniel Overas are tied for 55th as both have a two-day total of 148 with both players having rounds of 72-76.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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