March 11, 2006
Las Vegas, NV-Clemson freshman Vince Hatfield recorded his second consecutive even par round to lead the Tigers to a sixth place standing out of 15 teams at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Championship in Las Vegas, NV on Saturday. The Tigers have a 595 team score after two rounds, just six shots behind co-leaders UNLV and Georgia entering Sunday’s final round.
UNLV and Georgia are in first place at 589, followed by third place UCLA at 591. The Bruins had the top team round on Saturday with a 287. Oklahoma State is fourth at 592, while Georgia Tech is at 593, just two shots better than the Tigers. Arizona State and Florida are tied for seventh at 599, four shots behind Clemson. ACC teams Duke (614) and Wake Forest (618) are 12th and 13th respectively, and over 20 shots behind Clemson entering the final round.
The 15-team event features 13 of the top 25 teams in the nation and is being played at the par 72 Southern Highlands Country Club. The 7,510-yard layout is the longest course Clemson will play this year.
Hatfield stands in a tie for third place after two rounds with Pablo Martin of Oklahoma State, the number-one ranked player in the nation entering the event. Chris Kirk of Georgia, who shot a tournament best 67 on Saturday, is the leader at 140, followed by Daniel Im of UCLA at 142. Hatfield and Martin ar tied for third at 144. Those are the only players at even par or better among the 79-player field. Hatfield is the only player through two days to shoot par or better each day.
For the second consecutive day the freshman from Greenwood, SC got off to a tough start. He double bogeyed the first two holes to stand at four over for the day and the tournament. But, he fought his way back on the back nine, registering birdies on four of the last five holes, including the par five 18th.
David May, also a freshman, had a 73 on Saturday, four strokes better than his first round 77. May had a consistent round with 15 pars, two bogeys and a birdie. May stands at 150 after two rounds, in 21st position.
Brian Duncan has continued his consistent tournament play and stands in 13th position entering the final round. The senior from Greenville, who is ranked in the top 25 nationally in the latest Sagarin rankings, had a 73 on Saturday to go with his 76 on Friday. Duncan had nine-hole scores of 35-38 on Saturday.
Steve Poole shot his second consecutive 76 on Saturday. He had a strong 35 on the front, but had five bogeys on the back to score a 41. Through two rounds, Poole is even par on the front and eight over on the back. Poole is in 31st place at 152 through two rounds.
Freshman Phillip Mollica of Anderson, SC had his second straight 78 on Saturday. He was on track to have his score count towards the team score, but a quadruple bogey seven on the par three 17th hole ruined his round.
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