May 19, 2006
Tucson, AZ (May 19) - The Loyola Marymount University men's golf team, seeded 25th out of 27 teams entering the 2006 NCAA West Regional, put themselves in the mix to advance to the NCAA Championships after posting a second round seven-under par 281 Friday at the Omni Tucson National Golf Club. It is the team's best round in a decade and has them at 11-under for the tournament and in sixth place heading into the final round on Saturday.
LMU began the day at four-under par and in a tie for 11th place. However, the Lions got hot on the back nine with a combined nine birdies and 31 pars to move up to the top grouping for Saturday's final round. With a two-round score of 565, the Lions are one stroke better than Fresno State, who is in seventh at 10-under. Rounding out the top-ten is UC Irvine at nine-under and two strokes back of the Lions. Washington and Nevada are both at seven-under and tied for ninth.
The top-10 from the three NCAA Regionals advance to the NCAA Championships in Sunriver, Oregon, May 31-June 3.
Leading the field is host Arizona at 24-under par. North Carolina State and Florida are tied for second at 21-under. Arizona State is in fourth at 19-under and East Tennessee State is at 12-under and in fifth. ASU and ETSU will join the Lions in the first group teeing off on the 10th hole Saturday. The first tee-time is at 6:48 a.m.
"We continue to play really well," said Head Coach Alex Galvan. "Each day this team proves to me and themselves they are capable of great things. I, again, am so proud of each one of these guys."
The Lions, who were ranked 116th entering the tournament, pushed to the top thanks in part to the stellar play of their top two players on the back nine. Freshman Brian Locke, who won the West Coast Conference title, is in a tie for fifth place individually after posting a five-under 67. He sits at seven-under for the tournament.
Sophomore Jason D'Amore, who gutted out a 74 in the first round, responded with a four-under 68 in round two. He is at two-under for the tournament. D'Amore and Locke combined for eight birdies in the final nine holes, both chipping in four each.
Locke started with birdies on the par-5 10th and the par-four 11th. He added two more to his total on the par-4 14th and 16th. D'Amore also hit par on the 10th, and closed the final four holes of the day three-under. He was up and down in four on the par-5 15th, down in two on the par-3 17th and out in three on the par-4 18th.
Even with D'Amore on the tournament after two rounds is senior Chaz Inouye. He has been the model of consistency, shooting another 71 on Friday to go two-under on the tournament. He finished his second round with 11 straight pars, including every hole on the back nine. Both Inouye and D'Amore are in a tie for 38th with a two-round 138.
Sophomore and Tucson native Josh Escobedo posted a round of 76, putting him at one over for the tournament after his 69 on Thursday. Freshman Louie Bergna responded in his second round with a 75, dropping six strokes from his first day.
- GO LIONS -