IU In Contention Through 36 Holes at Big Ten Championships
April 28, 2006
LAKE FOREST, Ill. - Halfway home at the 2006 Big Ten Championships, the Indiana men's golf team sits in fourth place following a 1-over 285 in round one and a 288 in round two on April 28 at the Conway Farms Golf Club (par 71, 7,168 yards). Tournament host Northwestern leads the field at even-par 568 (282-286) one shot better than Michigan State (277-292), two ahead of Purdue (284-286) and five in front of IU. The Hoosiers own a seven-shot edge over fifth-place Illinois (285-295), giving some separation between the top-four teams and the rest of the field.
"I feel good where we are at," Indiana head coach Mike Mayer said. "I do not think we played real well today, and we have a lot left to do. This is a very difficult golf course and a great test of golf. I like the position we are in and think we are right in the mix."
With four members of its five-man lineup playing at their first Championships, IU is in good position entering the final 36 holes. Freshman Seth Brandon is the top Hoosier, holding fourth place with a 3-under-par 139. The Dalton, Ga., native collected a 5-under 66 - the lowest round of his career - to start the day and closed the afternoon with a 73.
"Seth shot a great round which was absolutely huge for this team," Mayer said. "He also made two late birdies in the afternoon to cap a great day of golf."
Brandon began his morning 18 with bogeys at No. 2 and 4 before recording back-to-back birdies at No. 8 and 9. He opened the backside with an eagle two at the par-4 10th and finished a stretch of 5 under through four holes with a birdie at the par-3 11th. Birdies at the par-5 14th and par-3 17th completed a brilliant back nine and put Brandon in third place through one round.
Entering round three, Brandon trails Ryan Brehm of Michigan State by three strokes. Brehm matched a Big Ten 18-hole mark and set an individual collegiate record at Conway Farms since the course was lengthened last season with a 7-under 64 in round one and claimed a 72 in round two. Northwestern's Kyle Moore (65-72) and Purdue's Pariya Junhasavasdikul (71-66) are one shot behind Brehm.
The lone Hoosier with experience at the Big Tens is sophomore Santiago Quirarte, and he displayed that in the second round. Following an opening 74, Quirarte carded a 1-under 70 for a 144 total. His second 18 featured a wild scorecard with five bogeys, four birdies and an eagle at the par-5 No. 8. Quirarte sits just outside the top 10 in a tie for 11th.
Right behind Quirarte is freshman Drew Allenspach. Going the opposite direction of Quirarte, Allenspach opened with a 1-under 70 before closing with a 76. The Sugar Land, Texas product is in a three-way share of 14th place.
Allenspach carded four birdies, three bogeys and two pars en route to a 1-under 34 going out in round one. On the back, he settled in with seven pars and canceled out a bogey on No. 13 with a birdie at the par-5 14th.
Despite being the most veteran player in the lineup, senior Brad Marek is enjoying his first taste of action at the Big Ten Championships. Marek bounced back from a 75 on the opening 18 to post a 2-over 73 in the afternoon. Returning close to hometown of Arlington Heights, Ill., Marek and his 148 score sit in a tie for 23rd.
Closing out the lineup, freshman Jorge Campillo struggled to a 77 to start the day but rebounded nicely to finish at 1-over 72. Campillo recovered from a disastrous backside (3 double bogeys) on the opening 18 to net three bogeys and two birdies en route to his 72. Making up 15 positions, Campillo finished day one in a share of 27th place with a 149.
The Hoosiers continue their quest for their first Big Ten title since 1998 in round three of the championships on Saturday, April 29. Tee times are set for 9 a.m. CDT from No. 1 and 10 tees.
"Tomorrow is a big day," Mayer said. "We need to get off to a solid start and post a number the rest of the field shoots for."
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