The University of Minnesota men's golf team moved up a spot and is in eighth place after Friday’s second round of the NCAA Men's Golf East Regional in Galloway, N.J. Four of the five Gopher players improved on their opening round score as they carded a combined second-round 293 on the par 71, 7,022 yard Tom Fazio-designed Galloway National Golf Club.
Minnesota sits at 39-over par for the tournament, 24 shots behind tournament leader Tennessee but is only 12 shots behind Big Ten Conference foe Illinois for fifth place. The top five teams advance to the NCAA Championships in Toledo, Ohio. The Gophers are looking to advance to the championships for the ninth time since 1998.
The biggest move of the day for the Gophers came from senior Victor Almstrom. Almstrom, playing in his third NCAA Regional, recorded six birdies on the day and ended the round with a 1-under par 70. He started the round in a tie for 55th place individually after an opening round 82 but will open the final round in a tie for 27th with a 36-hole score of 152.
Junior Ben Pisani, the Gophers stroke leader during the fall and spring seasons, equaled Almstrom’s 12-stroke improvement on Friday, as he finished the round with a 2-over par 73. He sits in a tie for 55th with a score of 158.
Freshman Derek Chang made his regional debut on Thursday by leading the Gophers with a 4-over par 75. He equaled that score on Friday and is in a tie for 21st at 8-over par 150. Junior Thomas Campbell bettered his opening round 78 by three strokes and is tied for 31st at 11-over 153. Senior Yu Katayama carded a 78 and is in a tie for 53rd at 15-over 158.
The third round of the 2009 NCAA East Regional is scheduled to get underway at 7:30 a.m. Central. Katayama will be the first Gopher to tee off on Saturday (9:10) followed by Campbell (9:20), Chang (9:30), Pisani (9:40) and Almstrom (9:50). Minnesota will be playing along with Kent State and Clemson.
Saturday’s final round can be followed live at www.golfstat.com.
NCAA East Regional (Galloway, N.J.)
1. Tennessee, 583 (+15)
2. Alabama, 588 (+20)
3. Virginia, 589 (+21)
4. Wake Forest, 594 (+26)
5. Illinois, 595 (+27)
6. Colorado State, 599 (+31)
7. Kent State, 601 (+33)
8. Minnesota, 607 (+39)
9. Clemson, 609 (+41)
10. Penn State, 620 (+52)
11. VCU, 621 (+53)
12. Coastal Carolina, 622 (+54)
13. Sacred Heart, 633 (+65)
14. Columbia, 672 (+104)
T21 Derek Chang... 75-75 150 (+8)
T27 Victor Almstrom... 82-70 152 (+10)
T31 Thomas Campbell... 78-75 153 (+11)
T53 Yu Katayama... 79-78 157 (+15)
T55 Ben Pisani... 85-73 158 (+16)