Hot Huskies Make Their Move Up The Leaderboard
Oct. 24, 2011
ALPHARETTA, Ga. -- The Husky men's golf team moved up into a tie for third at the U.S. Collegiate Championship after two rounds at The Golf Club of Georgia, thanks largely to a red-hot front nine by the team and an impressive individual performance by freshman Cheng-Tsung Pan.
The Huskies will enter Tuesday's final round, which can be seen via live streaming at theuscc.org, trailing defending champion and tournament host Georgia Tech by four strokes. Georgia Tech is 10-under 566 through two rounds.
UCLA is second at -7.
The Huskies, Auburn and USC are the only other teams under par and are each 6-under after 36 holes of play.
Washington got off to a phenomenal start and the UW five combined to shoot 282 for the day. The Huskies combined to shoot 14-under par on the front nine and were 16-under at one point with a nine-shot lead over the field.
But, on the back nine - the tougher side of the Lakeside Course - the Dawgs came crashing back to earth, shooting 10-over par.
"It was a disappointing finish because we had a chance to have a really special round," Husky Head Coach Matt Thurmond said. "We just didn't quite get it done. We lost a lot coming in.
"But the fact is we're still four shots from the lead in a big tournament with the home team ahead of us," added Thurmond. "We're excited. We're going to come out tomorrow and play great."
No Husky was hotter than Pan, who fired an incredible 30 on the front nine. He made the turn with five birdies, an eagle and a bogey on his score card. His play on the front left Coach Thurmond nearly speechless.
"Everything was going right for him. He was making his long putts and his short putts. He holed a shot from 96-yards on No. 9. He hit it within a foot on the previous hole...he just did everything right."
"His wedge play - I've never seen anything like it. If he's got a wedge from 60 to 100 yards in his hand, it's rarely outside five feet. It's just amazing to watch."
Pan was 8-under after 14 holes but would bogey No. 15 and then triple-bogey the tricky 17th hole. The par-3 hole is 215 yards, with water in front and to the left and sand protecting the hole long. Unfortunately for Pan, he found the water and had to settle for a six on the hole.
If not for the poor ending to his day, Pan would be leading the tournament. Instead, he had to settle for a 4-under 68 on the day and is tied for the lead at -5 (139) overall.
Not to be overshadowed on Monday was the play of sophomore Cory McElyea. The Californian ended up with a hard-fought 69 and is tied for 8th. He is 3-under for the tournament.
"He kind of went a little unnoticed because Pan had such a good round, but Cory is just doing an awesome job. He is showing amazing composure and concentration right now and I'm just really impressed the way he is quietly doing his thing," said Thurmond.
Among other Huskies, All-American Chris Williams is tied for 21st after shooting his second straight even-par 72. He started his round on fire and was 4-under through 12 holes, but bogeys on four of his final six holes brought him back to even.
Sophomore Trevor Simsby has back-to-back 73's and is tied for 31st.
Charlie Hughes shot 74 and is tied for 51st at +6 for the tournament.
The Huskies will be the last group off the tees for Tuesday's final round and will be paired with UCLA and Georgia Tech.