June 2, 2006
Sunriver, Ore. -
The Washington men's golf team overcame a near constant downpour during the third round at the NCAA Championship, shooting 6-over 294 to maintain a three-stroke lead on the field. The Huskies head to Saturday's final round with a 54-hole total of 7-under 857. Arizona State, Oklahoma State and Wake Forest are tied for second at 4-under 860.
"It was tough out there," said Washington head coach Matt Thurmond. "We shot six-over and I thought we played pretty well. Our round was 12-shots different than yesterday's round but I felt like the guys really hung in there, played hard and finished well.
"Nobody likes the rain. Nobody likes to carry an umbrella and rain gloves, drying stuff off all day. It's a grind all day. It's tough, but this is the national championship. So you just find a way to enjoy it and make the most of it. `Hang in there' is what the guys were saying all day. `We just have to hang in there.'"
Defending NCAA Champion James Lepp had the Huskies' best round, shooting 1-under 71 to move into a tie for fifth place at 5-under 211.
"I hate playing in rain like this," Lepp said. "So I'm very pleased with a 71 today. Hopefully tomorrow we'll get some normal golf weather and it will lead to better things."
"James was solid," Thurmond said. "He made a great birdie on 11 and had some good par saves. But he's not hitting the ball that well and he doesn't feel great about his game. So that's what makes his round today so good. He found a way to piece it together and shoot under par. We're still waiting for that Lepp round that he's famous for. Hopefully it's coming tomorrow."
Oklahoma State's Jonathan Moore holds the individual lead at 9-under 207 after shooting 3-under 69 in round three. Lepp trailed Pepperdine's Michael Putnam by six strokes after three rounds at the 2005 NCAA Championship before shooting 7-under 63 in the final round to tie Putnam. Lepp won the title on the third playoff hole, becoming Washington's first men's golf national champion.
Also tied for fifth overall at 5-under 211 is Husky sophomore Zach Bixler, who shot 1-over 73 in the third round. Alex Prugh is two strokes back in 12th after shooting 2-over 74. Erik Olson's 4-over 76 placed him 82nd at 6-over 222, while Sterling Clark's 83 positioned him 154th at 24-over 240.
"We think we're good enough that if we just go play well, things will take care of themselves," said Thurmond of his team's preparation for the final round. "We don't need to pull any tricks or use any magic formulas. We're just going to go play golf and add it up at the end."
The fourth and final round of the NCAA Championship starts tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. The Huskies tee off beginning at 9:21 a.m. Live scoring of the round is available at golfstat.com.
Par-72, 7,630 yards
Teams Advancing to Final Round
1. Washington 281-282-294-857
2. Oklahoma State 281-291-288-860
2. Wake Forest 277-289-294-860
2. Arizona State 287-279-294-860
5. Minnesota 287-286-292-865
5. Lamar 292-283-290-865
7. Clemson 282-288-296-866
8. Florida 284-285-298-867
9. Georgia 293-286-290-869
10. Texas A&M 291-283-296-870
10. Arizona 296-283-291-870
10. UCLA 280-294-296-870
10. Kentucky 283-287-300-870
14. Duke 290-297-284-871
15. Brigham Young* 292-298-284-874
*Won Playoff with Coastal Carolina
Did Not Make Cut
15. Coastal Carolina 296-287-291-874
17. North Carolina 297-289-290-876
18. North Carolina State 284-295-298-877
19. UNLV 293-290-297-880
19. Auburn 295-293-292-880
21. East Tennessee State 286-301-298-885
22. Pepperdine 296-294-296-886
22. South Carolina 292-296-298-886
22. Charlotte 288-299-299-886
25. Northwestern 292-295-302-889
26. Georgia Tech 301-294-296-891
27. Texas Tech 297-290-305-892
28. Nevada 296-294-307-897
29. Oklahoma 284-306-313-903
30. Loyola Marymount 300-312-303-915
1. Jonathan Moore, Oklahoma State 68-70-69-207
2. Kyle Reifers, Wake Forest 65-70-73-208
3. Pablo Martin, Oklahoma State 66-72-71-209
4. Andrew Parr, Texas A&M 71-70-69-210
5. Zach Bixler, Washington 70-68-73-211
5. Alejandro Canizares, Arizona State 73-66-72-211
5. Dustin Johnson, Coastal Carolina 70-71-70-211
5. James Lepp, Washington 69-71-71-211
5. Cameron Tringale, Georgia Tech 73-70-68-211
10. Chris Kirk, Georgia 71-71-70-212
10. Dusty Smith, Lamar 71-68-73-212
5. Zach Bixler 70-68-73-211
5. James Lepp 69-71-71-211
12. Alex Prugh 67-72-74-213
82. Erik Olson 75-71-76-222
154. Sterling Clark 75-82-83-240