April 22, 2013
TEXARKANA, Ark. - University of Houston sophomore Roman Robledo drained seven birdies during a bogey-free round on the way to an impressive 65 at the Conference USA Championships Second Round on Monday afternoon at Texarkana Country Club.
Robledo, who was a 2012 C-USA Championships All-Tournament Team member, opened his second round with back-to-back birdies and played spectacularly for the rest of the day to move into second place with a score of 137, one stroke behind SMU's Bryson Dechambeau.
Finishing with three birdies on his front nine, the Harlingen, Texas, native birdied two of the first three holes on his back nine and then capped his day with birdies on the final two holes. On his final shot of the day on No. 18, Robledo punctuated his round with a fist-pumping, 40-foot birdie that moved the Cougars into a share of the team lead with No. 20 SMU.
On the team leaderboard, the Cougars bettered their First Round score by six strokes and posted Monday's lowest team round of the day at 8-under-par 280 to tie with SMU with a two-day total of 566. Houston is looking for its first team and individual C-USA titles since the Cougars and then-freshman Brad McIntosh swept the 2001 event.
"Today was a great round and we got off to a much better start. We talked to our guys about staying in the round no matter what is going on," director of golf Jonathan Dismuke said. "You never know what is going to happen, but you have to hang around and we did a much better job of that and made a few putts.
"We did a better job of putting the ball in the right spots. Yesterday, we put the ball in some tough spots, and out here, that is the biggest part of this course. There is not a lot of trouble on this course with the exception of their green complexes and where they cut the holes," Dismuke said. "If you are in position to make scores, you play well. If you are out of positions, it's very difficult to make pars. Our guys did a good job of getting the ball in the right spots early."
Robledo became only the 15th player in school history to shoot 65 or better in any tournament and posted the Cougars' lowest round since junior James Ross finished with a 64 in the second round at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate on Oct. 31, 2011.
He also joined Tray Tyner as the only Cougars to shoot a 65 at any conference postseason tournament. Tyner accomplished that feat in the Second Round at the Southwest Conference Championships on April 17, 1987.
"Roman is in the upper echelon with his physical abilities, and today showed that. He hits the ball too well and he has so much distance," Dismuke said. "When he has control of the ball with his irons and makes putts, he is going to shoot nice scores, and he did that."
Robledo was one of three Cougars among the top-10 individual leaders following the Second Round. Junior Curtis Reed posted three birdies on his front nine and overcame a challenging back nine to post an even-par 72 and stand in a tie for third at 140.
Competing in his first Conference USA Championships, freshman Vincent Martino overcame a slow start to post a 1-under-par 71 and tie for seventh at 143. The Southlake, Texas, native bogeyed three of his first four holes but rallied and eventually birdied two of his final three holes to cap his day.
The Final Round tees off at 8 a.m., Tuesday. Fans can follow live scoring at GolfStat.com by following the appropriate links or by clicking here.
Houston is paired with UCF and SMU in Tuesday's Final Round and will tee off No. 1. Pilgrim will start the Cougars' round at 8:50 a.m., Tuesday, with McClain (9 a.m.), Martino (9:10 a.m.), Reed (9:20 a.m.) and Robledo (9:20 a.m.) to follow.
"It's more about us doing the things that got us to this point. There aren't any secrets. We have been around the lead some this year and played well. Tuesday's biggest challenge is focusing on us, and if we do that, we will be fine.
Fans can receive the latest and notes and live scoring updates by following @UHCougarGolf on Twitter. Fans also can discuss the latest Houston Golf news and notes on the team's Facebook page at Facebook.com/HoustonCougarGolf.