Strong second round propels men’s golf up the leaderboard at NCAA Regionals

Mike Randleman

Frost on the golf course delayed the start of the second round at the NCAA Regional in Columbia, Mo., but it did not stop the ISU men’s golf team from heating up.

After finishing near the middle of the pack in eighth place out of 14 teams through 18 holes, the Cyclones tied for the fourth-lowest round of the day, a two-under-par total of 286, moving them up to sixth place with 18 holes remaining.

All five Cyclones improved on their first round score, and three posted rounds of par or better.

Freshman Ruben Sondjaja is leading the way for Iowa State at a course that has treated him well this season. Last September at the Regional Preview tournament, Sondjaja finished tied for sixth and and tied the course record [66] in the final round.

Through 36 holes, Sondjaja is on pace for another strong finish. With a two-under-par 70 on May 16, he is tied for 13th place out of 75 golfers at two-under-par for the tournament, five shots behind Hunter Kraus of Missouri.

Nearly matching Sondjaja for the tournament is junior Scott Fernandez. Fernandez matched Sondjaja’s first round at 72 and followed it up with a one-under-par 71 in round two. He is tied for 16th place.

Junior Sam Daley was the third ISU golfer to post a round of par or better in round two. With a 72, Daley is at two-over-par for the tournament and in a tie for 27th place.

With a relatively clean scorecard, redshirt sophomore Collin Foster posted a round of 73 that featured one birdie versus two bogeys. He is tied for 31st place at four-over-par.

Rounding out the starting lineup is Jack Carter who posted a second consecutive 81 and is in 74th place. His first two scores have not counted toward overall team scoring.

In the third and final round on May 17, No. 50 Iowa State  [sixth place, three over par] will tee off with No. 14 Louisiana State [fourth place, one under par] and No. 26 Arizona State [fifth place, one over par] beginning at 7:50 a.m. CDT.

The top five teams and the highest-finishing individual not on a top-five team will advance to nationals in Hutchinson, Kan., which are May 23 through 28.