STILLWATER, Okla. – Two more Karsten Creek Golf Club records fell Saturday during the second day of the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships, hosted by Oklahoma State University (OSU), as sixth-ranked Alabama posted a 9-under par 279 and Clemson’s Bryson Nimmer wrapped up his first round by birdieing three of his last five holes to log an 8-under par 64.
Alabama’s record-setting mark was the second time that the Karsten Creek course record was broken this week, as the Crimson Tide’s number surpassed Northwestern’s 8-under mark that the Wildcats posted in Friday’s opening round.
“I’m proud of our guys,” Alabama coach Jay Seawell said. “We had a nice conversation last night. We had a lot of golf to play and we talked about bouncing back. We challenged them to bounce back, and I’m really proud of how the whole team did. Everyone did a good job today. Golfers always say they left strokes out there. We’re very happy with 9-under. That’s a great round at Karsten Creek.”
The Crimson Tide sit two strokes off the leaders, No. 13 Texas Tech, which posted a 1-under 287 to get to 5-under for the week. Tournament hosts and top-ranked Oklahoma State currently sits in second place at 4-under. The Cowboys were one of just six teams to shoot under par on a Karsten Creek course that bared its teeth in the second-round of stroke play.
OSU, Alabama and Texas Tech are the only three teams under par through two rounds of stroke play.
“I like that we shot lower than the first round. It’s a long week so that’s the goal – to get better every day,” OSU coach Alan Bratton said. “We like where we ended up so I’m pleased. Hopefully we draw some more people out. That was the best part of the day was seeing the crowds lining the fairway. Hopefully us being somewhere near the top brings out more people. We can keep giving them something to cheer about.”
On the individual side, Clemson’s Nimmer notched eight birdies and was bogey-free during his opening round, which he concluded Saturday morning. His 8-under 64 passed LSU’s John Peterson, who shot a 7-under 65 during the 2011 NCAA Championship, for the Karsten Creek course record.
The junior posted a 3-over 75 in his second round and sits one shot off the lead halfway through stroke play.
“Round two was not quite as good. I still hit it really well, but I didn’t make nearly as many putts,” Nimmer said. “I actually didn’t putt well at all. I think I was hitting it a little closer in the first-round, so that was a little different. I’m just going to have to make more putts.”
Auburn’s Brandon Mancheno is the current leader in the clubhouse at 6-under after firing the best round of any player on the course Saturday, shooting a six-under 66 on the 7,460-yard track. The freshman got off to a rocky start, bogeying his first hole of the day, but he quickly responded with a pair of birdies at Nos. 2 and 3 to get under par for the day.
Mancheno notched five more birdies and was bogey-free the rest of the way en route to posting his second-best round of the year.
“I got hot with the putter today,” Mancheno said. “I made three or four putts over 25 feet. I was just rolling it and hitting the ball well. The wind was down for the front nine, so it was pretty easy to score. I knew there were a lot of birdies to be had with par fives and a couple of short par fours. I just wasn’t giving up. You can make six or seven birdies out here pretty easily.”
Oklahoma State is one of only three teams in the field under par after the first two days of action.
The Cowboys finished out their first round on Saturday morning with a 1-under 287 to tie for fifth place and followed with a second-round 285 to stand at 4-under par through 36 holes at the par-72, 7,460-yard layout.
“I like that we shot lower than the first round,” head coach Alan Bratton said. “It’s a long week so that’s the goal: to get better every day. We like where we ended up so I’m pleased. Hopefully we draw some more people out. That was the best part of the day, was seeing the crowds lining the fairway. Hopefully us being somewhere near the top brings out more people. We can keep giving them something to cheer about.”
Freshman Austin Eckroat led the way for the Cowboys on Saturday, shooting a 2-under 70 for his second subpar round of the tournament. He heads into Sunday in a tie for 13th on the individual leaderboard at 3-under overall.
“It’s going well,” Eckroat said. “I got a little bit out of my game today. I didn’t play as well. I was really good around the greens. The crowds were awesome. That’s something you don’t ever experience. It’s great having them out there.”
Viktor Hovland is currently at even par after dropping six birdies on the way to a 71 for his second round. The Cowboy sophomore is tied for 28th overall.
Junior Zach Bauchou rebounded from his first-round 75 to card a 1-under 71 on Saturday. He stands in a tie for 46th overall at 2-over on the weekend.
Matthew Wolff is at even par for the tournament after 36 holes, turning in a 73 for his second round. He is tied for 28th along with Hovland.
Senior Kristoffer Ventura shot a 77 Saturday to tie himself in 77th at 5-over.
Paired with Texas Tech and Alabama, the Cowboys will tee off on the first hole for Sunday’s third round at 7 a.m.
The Sooners posted a 293 (+5) during Saturday’s 18 holes and are tied for fourth heading into Sunday.
With a two-round 578 (+2), the Sooners share fourth place with Duke. After Sunday’s third round of stroke play, the 30-team field will be cut to 15. One more round of stroke play will be held Monday before the field is reduced to the final eight teams that will advance to match play competition, held Tuesday and Wednesday.
Redshirt sophomore Quade Cummins paces the Sooners, holding a share of 13th place with a 36-hole 141 (-3). Cummins finished with a 73 (+1) during Saturday’s round, while earning five birdies.
Junior Blaine Hale also remains in the top 20 individually for OU and is tied for 19th place, one stroke back of Cummins. Hale also finished with a 73 (+1) in the second round.
Cummins and Hale both played just Saturday’s 18 holes, while junior Brad Dalke, senior Grant Hirschman and sophomore Garett Reband were forced to finish their first round due the suspension of play Friday.
Dalke finished the opening round with an even-par 72, completing the final three holes on the front nine. The junior overcame a slow start in the second round and battled back with three birdies on the back nine to finish at even-par 72. Dalke is tied for 28th place at 144 (E) through 36 holes.
Through two rounds, Hirschman is tied for 100th place at 151 (+9), while Reband is tied for 150th with a 158 (+14).
The Sooners are scheduled to begin the third round from hole No. 10 at 7:22 a.m. CT, paired with Duke and Vanderbilt. .
Round three of stroke play at Karsten Creek will tee off Sunday morning at 7:00 a.m. CT. At the conclusion of play, the field will be cut to the top 15 teams and the top nine individuals not on an advancing team. The remaining teams and players will advance to Monday’s fourth and final round of stroke play.
See attached results. Note that full team and player results are available at:
PLAYER LEADERBOARD: http://results.golfstat.com/public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=player&tid=15139
Championships Schedule of Events:
May 25-30 — 2018 Finals Schedule of Events (All Times Local – Central Time)
Karsten Creek Golf Club, Stillwater, Oklahoma; Oklahoma State University, host
Sunday, May 27
7 a.m. Third-round of stroke play competition
Monday, May 28
11:30 a.m. Tee time for fourth/final round of stroke play, top 15 teams and nine individuals not on an advancing team to compete
3-7 p.m. Live coverage on Golf Channel
7:10 p.m. Individual awards ceremony
7:25 p.m. Quarterfinal Match Play pairings determined
Tuesday, May 29
7 a.m. Match #1 and #2 begin (1st and 10th tees)
7:50 a.m. Match #3 and #4 begin (1st and 10th tees)
10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Live coverage (quarterfinals) on Golf Channel
1:30 p.m. Match #5 begins (winners of match #1 and #2)
2:20 p.m. Match #6 begins (winners of match #3 and #4)
3-7 p.m. Live coverage (semifinals) on Golf Channel
7:30 p.m. Semifinalist awards ceremony
7:45 p.m. Championship Match Play pairings determined
Wednesday, May 30
Approx. 2:25 p.m. Championship Match begins (winner Match #5 vs. winner of Match #6)
3-7 p.m. Live coverage on Golf Channel
Following Play Awards ceremony
Tickets: Tickets for day entry or for the session are available to purchase at the Karsten Creek entrance or atokstate.com/ncaagolf.
Pairings: Third-round play will tee-off on Sunday, May 27 at 7 a.m. CT. Pairings attached.
For more men’s golf information and to follow the action throughout, accesshttps://www.ncaa.com/sports/golf-men/d1.