May 17, 2013
BATON ROUGE, La. - University of Houston sophomore Kyle Pilgrim drained four straight birdies early his front nine Friday afternoon and finished with a team-best 69 to lead the Cougars during the Second Round of the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional.
After starting his day with back-to-back pars, the Colleyville, Texas, native started his impressive streak with a birdie on the 632-yard, par-5 third hole and added three more birdies over the next three holes to move into a tie for 14th place at 148 on the 7,436-yard, par-72 course at The University Club.
Battling through a 79 in Thursday's First Round, Pilgrim - who is making his NCAA postseason debut - bettered that score by 10 shots Friday. That tied as the fourth-biggest improvement in consecutive rounds by any player in Houston Men's Golf's Regional history.
"Any time that you have the low round of the day, you played some great golf," said director of golf and 2013 Conference USA Coach of the Year Jonathan Dismuke. "Kyle's round kept us in a good spot. I am really proud of Kyle for coming back the way that he did."
As a team, the Cougars posted a team score of 296 - bettering their opening round total by four strokes - to stand in sole possession of fourth place at 596.
"The course was difficult and demanding, but we played a pretty decent round," Dismuke said. "We have put ourselves in a pretty good spot, but we must do a better job of playing all the holes, a better job of finishing. We've played 16 or 17 holes well each day... We just need to do a better job of getting it all done."
A day after shooting a 71 in the opening round, junior Curtis Reed fired a 75 on Friday and was tied for seventh at 146.
No. 10 Florida leads through 36 holes with a score of 578, eight strokes ahead of No 2 Alabama and 15 strokes better than No. 47 South Alabama. Following the Cougars, No. 50 Coastal Carolina and host and 17th-ranked LSU are tied for fifth at 597 with No. 38 Tennessee (604), No. 35 Northwestern (607), UAB (608) and No. 23 Mississippi State (612) rounding out the top-10 leaders.
The top five teams and top individual not from those qualifying teams will advance to the NCAA Championships, slated for May 28 to June 2 on the Crabapple Course at Capital City Club in Atlanta. Houston is looking for its first appearance at the NCAA Championships since 2001.
The NCAA Baton Rouge Regional wraps up Saturday morning with the Final Round. The Cougars will be teamed with No. 50 Coastal Carolina and No 17 LSU with Robledo teeing off No. 1 at 7:50 a.m., to start the day.
From there, McClain (8 a.m.), Martino (8:10 a.m.), Pilgrim (8:20 a.m.) and Reed (8:30 a.m.) will follow.
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.
BIGGEST IMPROVEMENTS IN HOUSTON REGIONAL HISTORY
Rk. Player Scores NCAA Regional Site 1. Murray Van Gundy 84-70 (1st two rounds) 1991 Central Hillcrest Country Club (Bartlesville, Okla.)
2. Zoran Zorkic 80-67 (1st two rounds) 1989 Central Stonebridge Country Club (McKinney, Texas)
3. Brad McIntosh 81-70 (last two rounds) 2001 Central Karsten Creek Golf Course (Stillwater, Okla.)
T4. Kyle Pilgrim 79-69 (1st two rounds) 2013 Baton Rouge The University Club (Baton Rouge, La.)
T4. Anders Hansen 79-69 (last two rounds) 1995 Central Bentwater Country Club (Montgomery, Texas)