Yet the Vols actually improved their chances of advancing to the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships next month in Ooltewah. Such is the crazy world of collegiate golf.
UT trails first-place Oregon by six strokes, but at the same time boosted its lead over the sixth-place team, Central Florida, from two to six shots at Carlton Oaks Golf Club in the San Diego suburb of Santee. The top five teams after Saturday’s third and final round advance to The Honors Course in the Chattanooga suburbs June 2-6.
The top-seeded and No. 1-ranked Ducks fired a 2-over-par 290 to claim the lead through 36 holes at 8-over 584. Sixth-seeded California is next at 586 after its 4-over 292, followed by second-seeded UNLV at 588. Augusta State, the third seed, carded the day’s low round with a 2-under-par 286 to climb from eighth to fourth place at 589.
Fourth-seeded Tennessee shot 8-over 296 Friday to settle at 590, 14-over-par for the tournament. Central Florida is next at 596, followed by host San Diego State and New Mexico State tied for seventh at 598.
The Big Orange fivesome has been a close-knit scoring group this week. Only four shots separate Robin Wingardh, currently tied for ninth place at 2-over 146, from Garrick Porteous and Darren Renwick, both tied for 35th place at 6-over 150. In between are David Holmes at 4-over 148 and Jay Vandeventer at 5-over 149.
Sophomores Porteous and Renwick both turned opening-round 77s to matching 73s on Friday to pace the Vols.
Porteous began his round with seven consecutive pars before bogeying the eighth hole to finish 1 over for the front nine. Birdies at the 10th and 18th holes offset bogeys at Nos. 13 and 16 to leave him at 73 for the day and 150 for the tourney, tied for 35th.
Renwick started Thursday’s round on No. 10 and was 6 over par after just four holes. Friday’s action started at No. 1 for Tennessee and Renwick stood 2 under after the first two holes.
Consecutive bogeys at the fourth and fifth holes gave those strokes back before the Englishman birdied the par-5 ninth to make the turn at 1 under. Renwick got it to 2 under with a birdie at No. 11, but then doubled the par-3 12th and closed with a bogey at 18 for his round of 73. He also stands at 150 for the tournament, tied for 35th.
Wingardh and Vandeventer completed the UT scoring with a pair of 75s in strikingly similar fashion.
Wingardh carded three birdies, three pars and three bogeys over the front nine. But the junior suffered bogeys at the 12th, 15th and closing 18th holes -- without the matching birdies -- to finish at 75 for the day and 146 for the tourney. Wingardh is tied for ninth place.
Vandeventer is tied for 28th after his 75, and the freshman played his front nine like Wingardh with three birdies, three pars and three bogeys. The back-nine card for Vandeventer matched Wingardh as well, although the freshman’s three bogeys came at Nos. 10, 14 and 17. Vandeventer stands at 5-over-par 149 for the tournament.
Holmes shot 76 to settle in a tie for 18th place at 148. The Knoxville senior birdied No. 1 before giving back a couple of strokes with bogeys at the fourth and sixth holes. Consecutive bogeys at Nos. 10 and 11 were answered by six consecutive pars before a final bogey at the closing 18th hole.
Saturday’s final round for Tennessee begins at 7:50 a.m. Pacific time (10:50 a.m. Eastern), with the Vols playing alongside Augusta State and Central Florida in close competition for that NCAA finals berth. Winds are expected to increase to around 13 miles per hour, with highs only reaching the upper 60s under partly sunny skies.
Live scoring is available once again at UTsports.com, via Golfstat.com.
1. Oregon 294-290--584 (+8)
2. California 294-292--586 (+10)
3. UNLV 294-294--588 (+12)
4. Augusta Stat 303-286--589 (+13)
5. TENNESSEE 294-296--590 (+14)
6. Central Florida 295-301--596 (+20)
t-7. San Diego State 304-294--598 (+22)
t-7. New Mexico State 296-302--598 (+22)
9. UC Irvine 303-297--600 (+24)
10. Missouri 300-302--602 (+26)
11. Chattanooga 304-299--603 (+27)
12. Arizona 307-297--604 (+28)
13. Oral Roberts 304-302--606 (+30)
1. *Nick Delio Cal St Northridge 71-69--140 (-4)
t-2. Eddie Olson, UNLV 68-73--141 (-3)
t-2. Daniel Miernicki, Oregon 72-69--141 (-3)
t-4. Four players tied at 144
* Competing as individual.
t-9. Robin?Wingardh 71-75--146 (+2)
t-18. David Holmes 72-76--148 (+4)
t-28. Jay Vandeventer 74-75--149 (+5)
t-35. Garrick Porteous 77-73--150 (+6)
t-35. Darren Renwick 77-73--150 (+6)