Friday May 16, 2008
HOUSTON, TEXAS--USC Aiken carded a team total of nine-over-par 289 on Friday, unable to make a significant move up the leaderboard on day three of the 46th NCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championship. The Pacers (+21) are tied for 11th with the lead pack still on the course, but trailing clubhouse leader West Florida (+3) by 18 strokes with 18 holes to play.
The Argonauts are trying for a “worst-to-first” scenario after opening the tournament with a 12-over-par 292 on Tuesday, sitting in next to last place. A five-under-par 275 in today’s round moved West Florida to the top of the heap and in position to claim their second golf championship.
USC Aiken is making the program’s 14th trip to the NCAA Championship in the 17 years the school has been affiliated with the NCAA. Ten regional champions, 10 at-large selections, and five individuals make up the 105-player field.
The 72-hole event is being contested at the 7,158 yard, par 70 Memorial Park Golf Course in Houston, Texas. Built in 1923 by architect John Bredemus, the 600-acre course was completely renovated in 1995 and is considered one of the finest municipal courses in the nation.
The Pacers’ All-Region trio of Jeff Goff, Roberto Diaz, and J.P. Solis combined to shoot one-over-par on Friday. Goff and Solis turned in even-par 70’s with three birdies and three bogeys each while Diaz was one-over-par. Goff, at two-under-par though 54 holes, is in the hunt for an individual championship, currently tied for third, one back of the leader. Diaz is in a tie for 10th at one-over-par while Solis jumped 23 places into a tie for 46th at seven-over-par.
Sophomore Kevin Grady and freshman Ashley Smith struggled to eight-over-par 78’s and are tied for 93rd and 99th respectively. In the individual race, Florida Southern’s Jude Eustaquio led the 105-player field through 36 holes, but a 73 on Friday dropped Eustaquio from the top spot now occupied by Kyle Scott of West Florida at three-under-par. Goff is just one stroke off the pace.