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Arkansas tumbles down leaderboard

by Mitchell Gladstone | May 28, 2023 at 2:52 a.m.

On Friday, Arkansas' fortunes improved dramatically as the afternoon progressed -- even with the Razorbacks' opening round well in the books.

It was an opposite story during Saturday's second round as Arkansas tumbled down the leaderboard at the NCAA men's golf championship.

The Razorbacks posted the worst team total of Day 2, carding a 21-over 301 and dropping from a tie for second place into a tie for 20th at 22-over 582.

Arkansas will enter Monday's third round at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., six shots out of the top 15, with only the upper half of the field of 30 teams advancing to Monday's fourth and final stroke play round.

"Obviously, this was not the result we wanted," Coach Brad McMakin said. "We know from past years that the afternoon wave is always tough, and it is proving to be the case once again this year. Things kind of unraveled on us the last seven holes."

No individual Razorback shot better than 4-over 74, with Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira and Julian Perico matching one another for Arkansas' low round of the day.

Fernandez de Oliviera, after starting the day two shots out of the individual lead, shot even par through his first 11 holes. But after starting on the back nine by making a birdie on the par-4 second, the No. 32-ranked amateur in the world posted bogeys on Nos. 4 and 7 with a double-bogey 5 on the par-3 fifth.

At even-par 140 for the tournament, Fernandez de Oliviera sits in a tied for 13th place and trails individual leader Ross Steelman of Georgia Tech by seven shots.

Wil Gibson dropped 62 places, carding a 9-over 79 to fall into a tie for 67th at 6-over 146. Gibson made five bogeys on his first nine holes, including three straight on Nos. 11 through 13.

The Jonesboro native closed with a par, but only after bogeying Nos. 6 and 8 with a double-bogey 6 in between.

As a team, Arkansas made just three birdies all day. The Razorbacks combined for 11 bogeys and four double-bogeys on their back nines on Nos. 1-9.

Perico's 4-over 74 kept him just inside the top 100 at 8-over 148, good for a tie for 96th.

Segundo Oliva Pinto is two shots back at 10-over 150, tied for 115th, while Manuel Lozada is tied for 132nd in the field of 154 with a 36-hole total of 13-over 153.

Illinois leads the team competition at 2-under 558 -- the Fighting Illini were the only team with an under-par score Saturday -- and Florida sits in second at 1-over 561.

North Carolina and Georgia Tech (6-over 566) and Pepperdine (8-over 568) round out the top five.

"Despite the outcome, I am proud of the guys and how they continued to fight," McMakin said. "We know what to expect [today] and we will be ready.

"The first goal for all 30 teams is to make the top 15 after the third round and we still have that goal in our sights."

Print Headline: Arkansas tumbles down leaderboard


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