Put a top-three team on a soggy course with no wind and preferred lies and you get Oklahoma State’s position after two rounds of The Hayt.
The Cowboys’ five players have combined for seven-of-10 rounds at par or better at the Sawgrass Country Club and at 13-under-par 563 are leading the tournament hosted by the University of North Florida by three shots over Central Florida and by seven over Alabama-Birmingham when Monday’s long day came to a close.
North Texas is fourth at 1-over, Georgia Regents (formerly Augusta State) is fifth at 6-over and North Florida is sixth at 7-over.
The teams had to return to the course early to complete the suspended first round from Sunday. Players had between two and 12 holes remaining.
Oklahoma State, ranked second in the nation by Golfweek and third by Golfstat, came within four shots of UNF’s record of 559 through 36 holes and will break Florida’s 2001 record of 849 for 54 holes if the Cowboys shoot 3-under or better in Tuesday’s final round.
“The course has been pretty benign,” said Cowboys coach Alan Bratton. “When you have receptive greens, not much wind and the ball in your hand, these kids are going to shoot some low scores.”
The Cowboys had four players at par or better in the first round, and the only player who didn’t, senior Ian Davis, fired a 68 in the second round to lead three players in red numbers.
Davis began his second round at the 10th hole and went birdie-eagle-birdie. He chipped in for eagle at the par-5 11th hole and hit a 7-iron shot to within inches of the cup at the par-3 12th.
“That’s the great thing about this team ... any one of us can be the guy who goes low,” Davis said.
In the morning round, OSU freshmen Zachary Olsen (69) and Wyndham Clark (70) led the scoring.
As good as the Cowboys have played, they haven’t shaken UCF or UAB. Knights senior Greg Eason matched the low round of the tournament so far with a 65, which included three birdies in a row to start his day (he teed off at the 10th hole) and a 5-under 31 on the back nine.
Eason birdied both par-5 holes on the front, and eagled the par-4 seventh hole.
Sam Love of UAB shot 68, and holds the individual lead at 9-under-par 135. Love is one shot ahead of Eason and three clear of Jason Roets of North Texas, who matched Eason’s 65.
Roets birdied four holes in a row on the front and did not make a bogey.
UNF’s lower player is junior M.J. Maguire at 2-under 142, a tie for ninth.
Garry Smits: (904) 359-4362