South Central: Texas A&M, Chattanooga charge
Top team: UCLA (571)
Top individual: Pedro Figueiredo (UCLA), Stephan Jaeger (Chattanooga), 137
Top teams: 2. Texas A&M (573), 3. Chattanooga (575), 4. Memphis (582), 5. Virginia Tech (583)
Chasing: T-6. Northwestern, Colorado State (587), 8. Clemson (590)
Making up ground: Texas A&M and Chattanooga closed the gap created by UCLA in the first round and now only trail the Bruins by two and four shots, respectively.
The Aggies shot 10-under 278 Friday at The Club at Olde Stone in Bowling Green, Ky. That round also is known as the best of the day. Every Texas A&M player shaved strokes from his first round, resulting in the best NCAA Regional score ever posted at Olde Stone.
“The guys were outstanding in every aspect, top to bottom,” head coach J.T. Higgins said. “Every one of them came ready to play today and I’m just really proud of them for the effort they gave and how hard they played. It wasn’t any easier today than it was yesterday-as a matter of fact, it was probably a little bit tougher.”
As for Chattanooga, Steven Fox led the charge with a bogey-free, 8-under 64. Top player Stephan Jaeger backed up Fox with a 5-under 67 that was a bit more erratic. It contained only four pars, not a single one of which came on the back nine. After turning in 1-under 35, Jaeger had five birdies, two bogeys and a eagle at the 18th the close the round.
Look at me: Memphis entered regionals as one of the most overlooked top-40 teams in the country but is in position to advance to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 1988 and only the second time in history.
“Overall we played a solid round,” head coach Grant Robbins said. “We gave away a few on our second nine, but anytime you shoot under par on this course, you have to be pleased. We are right where we want to be going into tomorrow.”
Short shots: Arkansas shaved 10 strokes from its opening 14-over 302, but it wasn’t enough for the Razorbacks to climb into the top 5 spots. At 18-over 594 for the tournament, the team is T-10 with North Texas, and could require some final-round magic to qualify. . . . Northwestern and Colorado State are among the bubble teams in the South Central Regional. Advancing would be an accomplishment for each, as Northwestern is ranked No. 51 by Golfweek, and Colorado State No. 65. . . . Pedro Figueiredo is taking the UCLA reins this week, and backed up a first-round 69 with a second-round 68. Star player Patrick Cantlay is all but out of contention for the individual title after rounds of 69-75.