WAIKOLOA, Hawai'i – After just a so-so opening round, the Dawgs responded on Friday, lighting up the Waikoloa Beach Resort King Course to climb from a tie for 10th to third place. Washington shot a round of 16-under 272, eight strokes better than the opening round and are now 24-under for the tournament and just four strokes out of the lead.
The Dawgs shot the third-lowest round of the day, picking up five strokes on tournament leader, No. 3 Oklahoma. The Cowboys lead at 28-under with Oregon in second at 26-under. Washington is in third place, one stroke better than Auburn and USC who are tied for fourth.
Washington was led by Cheng-Tsung Pan who shot a round of 7-under 65 that included seven birdies and no bogeys. The Husky junior opened with a birdie on the par 3 seventh, had a stretch of five birdies in eight holes and then finished with a beautiful birdie into the wind on the par 4 sixth. Pan shot up the leaderboard as he tied for the low round of the day and now sits in a tie for seventh at 9-under for the tournament.
Pan is just three strokes off the leader, Cameron Wilson of Stanford. Wilson is 12-under, trailed by three players at 11-under and two at 10-under.
The other Husky near the top of the leaderboard is Gerrit Chambers who fired a round of 4-under 68. Chambers had a mistake-free round with four birdies and no bogeys and is now 7-under for the tournament and tied for 12th. Chambers has been steady as can be with just one bogey over his first 36 holes.
Also playing well was senior Trevor Simsby, who shot a round of 4-under 68. After an ever-par round on Thursday, Simsby is now at 4-under 140 and tied for 33rd place. Simsby made four-straight birdies at the beginning of his round, but after a pair of bogeys, needed a strong finish, making two more birdies to get back to 4-under.
The final scoring golfer for the Dawgs was Jonathan Sanders who rebounded nicely with a round of 1-under 71. Sanders had four birdies, three coming on par 5’s, to go with three bogeys and is now 1-over for the tournament and tied for 74th.
The Dawgs also have a player near the top of the leaderboard playing as an individual. Chris Babcock followed up an opening-round 67 with a 2-under 70 to move to 7-under and a tie for 12th. Babcock’s scores will not count in the team competition, but he is just five shots off the individual lead.
Kevin Kwon is also playing as an individual and scored well Friday, shooting a round of 5-under 67. He is now 3-under for the tournament and tied for 42nd.
Finally, Corey Pereira was the only Husky over par on Friday, shooting a round of 2-over 74. He is now at 1-under for the tournament and tied for 56th.
The Dawgs will be back on the course on Saturday for the conclusion of the Amer Ari Invitational from Waikoloa. After tying for the lead a year ago and falling in a playoff, the Dawgs hope to earn their first win of the spring with another good round. Washington will play off the first three holes with the other teams in contention beginning at 9:30 a.m., PT.