Golf Betters First-Round Score but Falls in Standings at C-USA Championships
April 26, 2010
The Cougars fired a team score of 295 on Monday but dropped to seventh place in the team standings. Although the team fell one place from its start, the Cougars showed promising signs with four of the five players in the lineup improving from their first-round scores.
"We played well today. The course was much more score-able today," Houston first-year head coach Jonathan Dismuke said. "We took advantage of a few more opportunities. With the exception of a poor finish, we played extremely well."
Heavy rain in the area Monday morning pushed tee times back about two hours. Despite the delay, Dismuke and the Cougars players adjusted to the schedule change well with three five players posting birdies on the second hole.
"You never know what to expect. We were ready to play early but knew there was a chance for delay," Dismuke said. "We had a nice breakfast and had a good time. Any time you have delays, it's good to recharge the batteries and enjoy each other's company."
When play began, the Cougars jumped out to an impressive start. In addition to the success on the par-5 second hole, junior Matt Eschenburg eagled the par-4 fifth hole and closed out the front nine with a sizzling 32. Eschenburg finished the day at 148 and was tied for 15th place.
As hot as Eschenburg started the day, junior Justin Kaplan was just as impressive on the back nine. Kaplan, who joined the Cougars at the semester break after transferring from Minnesota, closed out his day with three birdies and only one bogey during the final nine holes.
A native of Sugar Land, Texas, Kaplan stood in a tie for seventh place at 147 to lead the Cougars.
"Justin had a great round today and really kept us in touch," Dismuke said. "Without his 72, we would have lost some ground today. He really played great coming down the stretch."
Senior Jackie Lindsey posted a 74 in the second round to tie for 25th place at 150. Other Cougars in action were redshirt freshman Joseph Reynolds (153, t-33rd) and junior Clark Mitzner (159, t-50th).
Host UCF extended its lead with an even-par 288 on Monday and stood with a team score of 580, five strokes ahead of Rice. Tulsa (592), SMU (594), East Carolina (595) and Southern Miss (596) rounded out the top-six leaders.
After the Cougars, UAB (600), Memphis (601), Marshall (615) and UTEP (615) completed the field on the par-72, 7,152-yard course.
Rice's Christopher Brown posted a 3-under-par 69 to finish the first 36 holes at 139, two strokes ahead of Tulsa's Rob Laird and Brad Schneider of UCF. UCF's Simon Ward stood in fourth place at 144.
The 54-hole tournament wraps up Tuesday and tees off at 7:30 a.m. (CDT). Fans can follow live scoring each day by visiting UHCougars.com, Golfstat.com or ConferenceUSA.com or by clicking here.
The winner of the league's annual postseason tournament, which is sponsored by C-USA, UCF and the Central Florida Sports Commission, earns the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals.
This marks the second straight season that the Cougars competed at RedTail Golf Club at the C-USA Championships. A year ago, the Cougars finished seventh with Lindsey, Eschenburg and Mitzner each competing.