Led by freshman Patrick Cantlay and junior Gregor Main, the UCLA men’s golf team moved two strokes closer to first place after the second round of the NCAA Championships in Stillwater, Okla., on Wednesday.
No. 4 UCLA will begin today’s round in second place with a score of 574 (-2), one stroke behind No. 2 Georgia Tech. UCLA and Georgia Tech are the only teams under par for the tournament so far.
Cantlay finished Wednesday’s round in a tie for third place at three under par after shooting scores of 72 and 69.
After a slow start on Tuesday in which he was two over after 17 holes, Cantlay finished with an eagle on the 18th hole, bringing himself to par for the round. Cantlay carried that late-round momentum into Wednesday’s round, in which he recorded five birdies and fired a 69 (-3).
Just behind Cantlay is Main, who moved into a tie for sixth place with a two-round total of 142 (-2).
If not for a double bogey in each of the first two rounds, Main might be sitting atop the leader board.
Rounding out the roster for the Bruins are junior Alex Kim and sophomores Pedro Figueiredo and Pontus Widegren.
Figueiredo will tee off today in a tie for 21st after shooting 145 ( 1), Kim will tee off in a tie for 36th, and Widegren in a tie for 93rd.
Today marks the last round of the five-count-four stroke play format of the tournament. Starting Friday, the top eight teams will move onto three rounds of match play.
Unlike stroke play, which simply records each individual’s score and pits him against the entire field, match play is a hole-to-hole competition between two golfers.
Last year, UCLA failed to advance to the match play portion of the tournament and disappointingly finished in 16th place.
Barring any type of unforeseen collapse, the Bruins should advance to the latter portion of this year’s championship.
Compiled by Manny Redruello, Bruin Sports reporter.