Sept. 24, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The University of Houston golf team used a sparkling second round Monday afternoon to grab a 5-stroke lead following the first day of the Shoal Creek Intercollegiate presented by Graeme McDowell.
The Cougars entered Monday's afternoon round in a tie for fifth place after posting a team score of 4-over-par 292 on the 7,234-yard, par-72 course at Shoal Creek Country Club. However, the team rallied impressively to shoot the lowest team score of the day by six strokes with a score of 9-under-par 279 in the afternoon session.
It was the lowest team round in the history of the tournament, besting LSU's previous record of 284 in 2005 by five strokes.
With that total, Houston moved into the overall team lead at 571 with only Tuesday's final round left to play. LSU stood in second place at 576 with UAB (577), Tulsa (578) and Memphis (578) rounding out the top-five team leaders.
"In the first round, we played well, but we just didn't get the putts to fall, and the momentum didn't go our way," assistant coach Chris Hill said. "In the second round, we were disciplined and stuck to our game plan. We hit good spots and good things happened. As a coach, when you see a plan executed well, it brings a smile to your face."
Returning to the lineup for the first time since breaking his arm in mid-April, junior Wesley McClain fired a season-low 68 and was tied for fourth at 140, one stroke behind first-day leader Rodolfo Cazaubon of North Texas and two strokes behind LSU teammates Curtis Thompson and Stewart Jolly.
McClain, a native of Diboll, Texas, was nearly flawless in the second round, draining six birdies before a double bogey on his final hole of the day put the only blemish on his scorecard.
"I am really proud of Wes. He had a rough time last year, being injured twice. For him to win a spot in qualifying and then make the most of his opportunity in the lineup says a lot about his character," Hill said. "When he is playing well, it rubs off on the other guys. He made some key puts and used his length and accuracy off the tee to his advantage."
McClain wasn't the only Cougar to perform well during the team's second event of the fall season. Four different student-athletes finished among the top-20 leaders Monday, including three who stood among the tournament's top 10.
Junior Jesse Droemer was tied for seventh at 142, including a second-round 70, while sophomore Roman Robledo rebounded from a difficult opening round for a 68 of his own and was tied for 10that 143. Starting his second round on No. 10, Robledo began his back nine with a bogey on the first hole. However, the Harlingen followed that with four birdies during a five-hole stretch midway through the final nine to post his season-low score.
The final round tees off at 8:30 a.m., Tuesday with 18 holes left to play. Fans can follow live scoring by visiting GolfStat.com and following the appropriate links or by clicking here.
The Cougars will tee off hole No. 1, beginning at 9 a.m., Tuesday. Ertel will start at 9 a.m., with Reed, Robledo, Droemer and McClain following every nine minutes, respectively. ROUND 3 TEE TIMES
Fans can receive regular Twitter updates by following @UHCougarGolf throughout the season. Stay tuned to UHCougars.com for the latest information in Houston Golf.
Following the Shoal Creek Intercollegiate, the Cougars return to action in early October with a pair of tournaments. As a team, Houston will compete at the Fighting Irish Gridiron Classic on Oct. 7-9 in South Bend, Ind.
Several student-athletes also are scheduled to compete as individuals at the Harold Funston Invitational, hosted by Sam Houston State at Raven Nest Golf Club in Huntsville, Texas, on Oct. 8-9.