Razorbacks charge up leaderboard
ATLANTA – Junior Jamie Marshall led a spirited charge for the University of Arkansas men’s golf team on Friday with a three-under par, 67, in round two of the NCAA Atlanta Regional at the Crabapple Golf Course in Atlanta, Ga. Marshall’s round highlighted a two-over par performance by the Razorbacks as a whole which moved Arkansas from 11th position after round one into a tie for sixth.
"We played a lot better today," Arkansas head coach Brad McMakin said. "We put ourselves in a place to challenge for one of the top five spots which is what we needed after a tough first day. I was very pleased with the way that we came out and competed."
The Razorbacks need to finish among the top five teams in order to make a return trip to the NCAA Championships in two weeks. Currently, Arkansas’ 18-over par score places it two strokes from a tie for fourth and five away from third.
Marshall was fantastic as he anchored the Razorback contingent on Friday. Consistent with birdies and pars throughout his round, the Castle Rock, Colo., native played steady throughout the round and even saved par on his final hole after missing the green in regulation. His second-round, 67, matches Arkansas’ school record for a single round at a regional. Prior to Marshall’s round only Tag Ridings (1997) and Brenden Pappas (1991) had posted scores of 67.
"I spent most of the day with Jamie today and he was great," McMakin said. "He struck the ball very well and didn’t make any mistakes."
With four Razorbacks completing their round, Marshall had just drained his par putt to finish Arkansas’ day when tournament organizers sounded a horn to pull spectators and players off the course because of lightning. The suspension of play which sounded at 3:04 p.m. eastern, interrupted several groups still on the course. The late stoppage was book ended by early morning storms in the Atlanta area that pushed tee times back one hour from their original marked times.
Senior Dalton Owens had the makings of a tremendous round but a disastrous par 3, third hole cost him a shot at breaking par. Hitting green after green, Owens was two-under par as he stepped to the tee box on three, his 12th hole of the day. Off the green with his first shot, Owens then miss-hit his second and three-putted for a triple bogey to put him at one over. Six holes later, Owens fired a shot from the fairway on nine and made it stick just three feet from the hole allowing him to post a birdie and move back to even for the day.
Friday’s action came with additional pressure as the Razorbacks knew that they had to make a move should they wish to continue playing this year. The potential pressure did not seem to phase Arkansas as it stood at four-under-par through the first four holes of competition even with some tough pin placements by the course organizers.
Freshmen Austin Cook and Josh Eure came back from five- and six-over par days on Thursday to shoot much improved two- and three-over par rounds. Both players looked much more comfortable as they played the regional course and could have had even better scores had each not missed a couple of putts that both players admit they should have made.
Senior David Lingmerth rounded out the Razorback scoring on Friday with a three-over par, 73.
The Razorbacks are back on the course at on Saturday for the final round of the NCAA Atlanta Regional and an opportunity to advance to the NCAA Championships.