Photo courtesy UTEP
Notre Dame, Ind.- After two rounds, the UTEP men’s golf team is leading the field at the Fighting Irish Gridiron Classic in Notre Dame, Ind.
The team fired a round two, two-under-par 278 to bring its total score to an even-par 560 (282-278). The third and final round will begin tomorrow morning. The Miners will tee off 8 a.m. (Mountain time).
“Today we got off to an average start,” head coach Scott Lieberwirth said. “I thought the playing was very difficult early on. The wind was up a little stronger than yesterday but then we turned and played the backside extremely well, especially the last six holes, just fantastic. That’s where we got the lead. It was just a great finish in the second round.”
UTEP holds an eight-stroke margin over Illinois State and Notre Dame. Both teams are tied for second after shooting a total of 568. Illinois State shot 286 and Notre Dame 283 on Monday.
On top for the Miners is Frederik Dreier, who is in second place with a five-under par 135 (70-65). The senior is at the heels of first-place Blake Barens of Notre Dame, who shot a seven-under-par 133 (66-67).
“I think our putters just really came alive today, especially Freddie shooting five under on those last nine holes. He got a hot putter and it was fun to watch,” Lieberwirth said. “He was on fire. The other guys all did their part too and made some birdies. Simply put, if we execute the shots that we know we need to hit and if we make a few putts, I like where we stand.”
Sitting six strokes back and tied for seventh are Andreas Sorenson (69-72) and Charles Corner (71-70) with a one-over-par 141. Slipping into the top 20 with a three-over-par 143 (72-71) was Nicklas Pihl, who is tied for 17th after jumping 10 spots on day two. Ben Getman and Cole Donielson are tied for 50th with an eight-over-par 148. Getman shot 74-74 and Donielson, who is playing as an individual, shot 72-76.
“Nothing changes as far as our game plan or how we’re going to attack the golf course tomorrow. That’s all been preset, that’s been done in our preparation and our practice and is based on what we learned in the first couple of days during the tournament, how the conditions are,” Lieberwirth said. “We know exactly how we want to play each hole depending on how the setup is. Our guys, I think, are very intelligent about how we approach each hole and round of golf so it’s simply a matter of execution.”