IU Extends Lead to 24, Four Hoosiers Pepper Top 10 at Pinehurst
March 17, 2008
PINEHURST, N.C. - Head coach Mike Mayer said he did not want his team to be satisfied with one great round at the Pinehurst Intercollegiate and his charges certainly understood his message, coming out with the lowest total in the 19-team field for the second straight day. The 26th-ranked Hoosiers have opened up a phenomenal 24-shot lead following a 4-over-par 292 on Tuesday.
Coupled with its opening-round 2-under-par 286, IU holds a commanding advantage over Eastern Kentucky with VCU in third at 603. Indiana sits 28 shots ahead of No. 17 Penn State and 34 strokes clear of No. 43 Wisconsin.
"We had a simple goal today, and that was to shoot the lowest score of the day," Mayer said. "We did just that. I could not be more proud of my kids. Coming back after such a great round and playing great golf is not an easy thing to do.
"It was another difficult day of golf on a very good golf course and we started slow. The kids did some great work today, especially on the back nine. Everyone on this team, including our individuals, came through."
The defending champions are putting on a clinic, as junior Seth Brandon leads the 100-player field at even par. Teammates Jorge Campillo and Ren Han share second place with East Carolina's Markus Leandersson at 1-over par, while Drew Allenspach moved into the top 10.
Brandon, the lone player in the field to break 70 in round one (69), maintained his one-shot lead with a 3-over par. After recording four bogeys and one birdie on the frontside, Brandon carded nine straight pars to close out his afternoon.
The Dalton, Ga., native is looking for the second collegiate title of his career. He shared medalist honors at the Kepler Intercollegiate in 2006.
Campillo shot a 2-over 74 to pick up one stroke on Brandon and move into a three-way share of second. The junior bounced back from a double bogey on the ninth hole and shot even coming in. Campillo, who shot a 1-under-par 71 in the opening round, is in search of his fourth title and his first of this season.
Han matched Brandon with a 75 in just the fifth round of his career. Following his career-best 2-under-par 70, the true freshman bogeyed three of the first nine holes. However, he rallied with nine consecutive pars to join Brandon and Campillo at even par on the backside.
As impressive as the Hoosiers top players have been through 36 holes, they did not even shoot the lowest rounds on the team Monday afternoon. Sophomore Alex Martin broke par with a 1-under 71, while Allenspach claimed an even-par 72.
Allenspach is in a five-way share of seventh place with 148. He improved by four shots from his opening 76 to position himself for his best finish of the year and the fourth top 10 of his career.
Meanwhile, Martin improved by 11 shots from Sunday to jump into a tie for 33rd. Martin entered the middle 18 in a share of 77th place.
"I am so proud of Alex Martin. To bounce back from a difficult first round like he did today, that is what this team is all about. That effort is what it takes to have a successful program," Mayer said.
As for the three Hoosier individuals, true freshman Paul Park led the way with a 2-over-par 74. Matching his career-best 18-hole total, Park shot into a tie for 41st place at 154.
Indiana and East Carolina host the annual event at The Centennial Pinehurst No. 8. The 19-team field is facing a challenging par-72 course with a 7,035 yardage.
"Our goal is pretty simple tomorrow - to win the final round. That is our sole goal and purpose, and we plan on doing just that," Mayer said.
IU looks for its second straight Pinehurst title and its first championship of the season when the final round commences at 9 a.m. EDT Tuesday morning. All the action can be followed live at www.golfstat.com.
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