PALM HARBOR, Fla. – Defending champion Michael Perras and sophomore Zach Tracy each fired 1-under 70s to lead the University of Houston Men’s Golf program during the Second Round of the American Athletic Conference Championships presented by Visit St. Pete Clearwater on Monday afternoon.
Perras led the Cougars with six birdies Monday, with back-to-back efforts on his final two holes of the day, to surge into a tie for 10th at 145. Starting his day off No. 10 with a bogey, the 2017 All-American Athletic Conference performer rebounded with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 13-14 and added another birdie on No. 18 to cap his first nine.
The Deer Park, Texas, native started his second nine with a birdie on the par-5 first hole and, following three bogeys in a 5-hole stretch midway through his last nine holes, drained a pair of long birdie putts on Nos. 8-9 to finish Monday’s Play with a 70.
Perras is looking for his third Top-10 finish at The American Championships in as many years.
Tracy enjoyed nine pars and a birdie on the par-3- 17th hole and overcame a bogey on the par-4 second hole with his last birdie of the day on the par-5 fifth hole on the way to his 70. The Houston native was tied for 14th at 146.
As a team, the Cougars enjoyed the third-lowest team score of the day at 289 – bettering their First-Round score by 12 strokes – and stood in eighth place with a 36-hole total of 590 on the 7,125-yard, par-71 Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Golf Club.
Making his American Championships debut, sophomore George Gardner was tied for 26th at 148, thanks to three birdies on his second nine. Junior Matt Williams was tied for 42nd at 153, while senior Papito Gonzalez finished 45th at 154.
No. 21 USF held the team lead with a score of 563 to stand 19 strokes in front of SMU. UCF (584), Cincinnati (585), ECU (587), Temple (587) and Memphis (589) completes the Top-7, while Wichita State (590) and UConn (594) rounded out the field.
USF’s Claudio Correa finished with a 67 on Monday and held the individual lead at 138. Teammate Cristian DiMarco and Cincinnati’s Davis Baxter were tied for second at 2-under 140.
The three-day, 54-hole tournament wraps up with the final 18 holes Tuesday.
Fans can follow live scoring at the American Athletic Conference Championships by visiting Golfstat.com and following the appropriate links or by clicking here.
For Tuesday’s Final Round, the Cougars will compete in groups with student-athletes from Memphis, starting off No. 10.
Gonzalez will start the day for Houston at 7:17 a.m. (CDT) with Williams (7:25 a.m.) Gardner (7:34 a.m.), Tracy (7:42 a.m.) and Perras (7:51 a.m.) following.
Following the American Athletic Conference Championships, the Cougars will learn their NCAA postseason fate during the NCAA Selection Show, set for 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 2, on Golf Channel.
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