May 18, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Sophomore Albin Choi's 5-under 66 on Friday kept NC State's chances of advancing to the NCAA Championship alive as the club sits seventh in the field after two rounds of the NCAA Ann Arbor Regional at U-M Golf Course.
The low five teams advance to the championship. The Wolfpack fired a 2-under 282 during Friday's second round, and owns a 36-hole score of 4-over 572. State will begin Saturday four shots out of fifth place, currently occupied by fellow ACC member Virginia.
Choi had one of the most amazing rounds of golf in his brief, but successful collegiate career. Hovering at even par with four holes left, the Freshman All-America eagled back-to-back par-4's, and then birdied the next par-3 to record a 2 on three-straight holes.
He drove the green on the 309-yard par-4 sixth and made a 10-footer for the first eagle, and then holed out from 40 yards from the fairway on No. 7. Choi is the only player in the field to eagle the 378-yard par-4 so far in the regional.
Choi is tied atop the leader board at 7-under 135 with TCU's Julien Brun. A group of four golfers are one-shot behind at -6. Two of them, Virginia's Ben Kohles and Oregon's Daniel Miernicki, posted 65's today, the only rounds better than Choi on Friday.
Seniors Chad Day and Graham Baillargeon, and junior Mitchell Sutton all posted rounds of 1-over 72 on Friday.
Sutton is tied for 30th at 3-over 145. He had three birdies today on his card.
Day had a very steady morning with one birdie and two bogeys, and is tied for 46th through 36 holes at 7-over 149. He has recorded 25 pars so far in 36 holes, which is among the top figures in the field.
Baillargeon had four birdies and five bogeys through his trek around the course today and is tied for 55th at 9-over 151.
Senior Mark McMillen had a tough day with an 81, despite posting three birdies on Friday. He is tied for 59th at 10-over 152.
Southern California stormed up the standings with a 12-under 272 and leads at 7-under 561. Pac-12 mate Oregon, Kent State and TCU are all one-shot back at 6-under 562.
Virginia is fifth at even-par 568, Notre Dame is sixth at 1-over 569, and NC State is seventh.
The low five teams at the regional and the low individual not on a qualifying team will advance to the NCAA Championship, to be held May 29-June 3 at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
NC State begins Saturday's final round at 7:30 a.m., off hole No. 10 for the third-straight day. The Wolfpack will play with Oklahoma State for the second day in a row, and Kennesaw State.
1. Southern California 289-272=561 (-7)
T2. Oregon 288-274=562 (-6)
T2. Kent State 286-276=562 (-6)
T2. TCU 278-284=562 (-6)
5. Virginia 287-281=568 (E)
6. Notre Dame 291-278=569 (+1)
7. NC State 290-282=572 (+4)
8. Oklahoma State 290-283=573 (+5)
9. Kennesaw State 287-290=577 (+9)
10. Purdue 291-293=584 (+16)
11. Baylor 296-297=593 (+25)
12. Ohio State 305-297=602 (+34)
13. Navy 322-306=628 (+60)
NC State Individual Results
T1. Albin Choi 69-66=135 (-7)
T30. Mitchell Sutton 73-72=145 (+3)
T46. Chad Day 77-72=149 (+7)
T55. Graham Baillargeon 79-72=151 (+9)
T59. Mark McMillen 71-81=152 (+10)