“We knew today was going to be the toughest scoring conditions of any of the three days just with the weather,” head coach Scott Lieberwirth said. | Photo courtesy UTEP
The UTEP Men’s Golf Team pushed through windy conditions to remain at the top of the leaderboard at its own Price’s “Give ‘Em Five” Invitational at the Butterfield Trail Golf Club on Saturday.
West winds blew at 13 miles per hour, but the Miners were able to stay below par in round two, the only team to do so on Saturday, at 1-under 283 for a 10-under 558 (275-283) total. Texas State is second in the 13-team field after shooting 4-over 288 in round two, bringing their tournament score to 4-under 564 (276-288). The Miners lead No. 24 Marquette, who is tied for third place, by 11 strokes. The third and final round will begin tomorrow in a shotgun start at 8:15 a.m. (MT).
“We knew today was going to be the toughest scoring conditions of any of the three days just with the weather,” head coach Scott Lieberwirth said. “I’m probably happier today with the score we shot than even yesterday’s just because we didn’t have any over-par scores that we had to count toward our team score. With that being said, I was extremely pleased. We did have the low round of the day again today with one-under, and that’s a good score out here as a team.”
All of UTEP’s starters finished in the top-50 of the field, while three of the five finished in the top-10. Leading the Miners’ charge for the second day in a row was Charles Corner, who shot even-par in round two for a 7-under 135 (64-71) total and a second place finish. The senior had four birdies in this run and was leading the field most of the day before a bogey on No. 16 brought him even-par. He leads the tournament in birdies with 12 and trails the field leader, Texas State’s Calvin Ross, by two strokes.
Aaron Terrazas and Prescott Mann both share a spot in 8th place after round two scores of 70 and 71, respectively. Terrazas started his day off strong with back-to-back birdies and ended on a high note with another birdie for five total for a tournament score of 2-under 140 (70-70) heading into the final round. Mann had four birdies, including consecutive birdies on holes No. 5 and No. 6 to get back under par after a double bogey on hole No. 4. Mann was even-par today, but still remains 2-under 140 (69-71) for his tournament total.
Nicklas Pihl recorded the team’s only birdie of the day on hole No. 2, and coupled that with three birdies in his second round of 71. The senior is in 15th place with 1-over 143 (72-71). Santiago Castilla had a steady showing in his round of 75, notching two birdies in his share of 46th place. Castilla stands at 7-over 149 (74-75) through two days of play.
As an individual, Ricardo Catalan had another round of strong play, firing a round of 70 for a 5-under 137 total and sole possession of third place. The Juarez, Mexico native, who walked onto the team last season, had four birdies today. Chad Ahn tied for 34th with his 2-over 73 performance for a 5-over 147 (74-73) total, notching four birdies. Settavut Paradee played the front nine well, carding three of his 4 birdies to help his round of 75 for a 10-over 152 (77-75) total and a tie for 61st. Eduardo Gonzalez finished one stroke behind with a round of 77 for a 11-over 153 (76-77) total. Gonzalez tallied two birdies and shares a spot in 67th.
The team’s strength on the par 4s was shown as they lead the field in par 4 scoring (4.03 avg./+3) and rank second in par 5 (4.53 avg./-14) scoring. The Miners lead the field in birdies with 42 total.
“I’m very proud of our guys,” Lieberwirth said. “We’ve put ourselves in the position we want to be in going into round three. It’s just a matter of maintaining our composure and executing shots that we know how to do. If we do that, I like our chances.”
Round three at the Butterfield Trail Golf Club will begin in a shotgun start at 8:15 a.m. (MT) tomorrow morning. Live stats are available via www.golfstat.com.