There are no sure things at NCAA regionals. But Iowa State advancing out from a low seed is becoming trend.
Three times in the past five years the Cyclones had done it – twice as a No. 9 seed and once as a 10.
On Tuesday, seventh-seeded Iowa State made a big leap into the fourth spot at the NCAA Louisville Regional with the day’s second-lowest round of 2-under 282. Host Louisville sits one shot back in fifth place and the next team in line, third-seeded North Florida, is six shots behind the Cardinals.
The top five players from the Louisville Regional advance to the NCAA Championship May 24-29 at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark.
“I wouldn’t say that we have a specific approach to regionals,” said Iowa State head coach Andrew Tank. “I feel like it’s a just a culmination of the whole year.”
Tripp Kinney not only led the way for the Cyclones with a flawless 6-under 65, he leads the entire field by two shots at 8-under 134.
Tank said Kinney has invested a ton of time on his putting this season and has made a break-through in his last two events.
Kinney finished off his round with three consecutive birdies at the University of Louisville Golf Club, draining a 35-footer on the 16th, two-putting for birdie on the par-5 17th and knocking in a 40-footer on the 18th.
Tank said being in the same field as Oklahoma State and Arizona State several times throughout the season has been a positive for the program.
“That’s helping a guy like Tripp because he’s starting to see, OK this is what it’s going to take,” said Tank.
Both Kinney, a junior, and sophomore Lachlan Barker are on pace to break the school record for season stroke average. Kinney leads the team with a 70.73 scoring average while Barker comes in at 70.90.
Scott Fernandez holds the Iowa State record of 71.27 strokes, set in the 2012-13 season.
Barker added a 73 for the Cyclones on Tuesday while Frank Lindwall posted a 71.
Auburn is running away with the team title after amassing an eight-stroke lead over top-ranked Oklahoma State. The Tigers were led by Jacob Solomon’s 66. … Host Louisville will have its work cut out to maintain the fifth spot. There’s a six-shot cushion between fifth and six, but the pressure will run high on Wednesday. John Murphy (69) and Matthias Schmid (70) paced the Cardinals, who were forced to count a 78.