Georgia, Georgia Tech in contention halfway through NCAA Golf Championship

Georgia’s Ben van Wyk during the second round of the NCAA Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Saturday, May 28, 2022. Van Wyk had four birdies and shot 71 on Saturday. (Photo by Steven Colquitt)

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Georgia’s Ben van Wyk during the second round of the NCAA Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Saturday, May 28, 2022. Van Wyk had four birdies and shot 71 on Saturday. (Photo by Steven Colquitt)

Georgia and Georgia Tech both survived uneven second rounds Saturday and remain in contention to qualify for the final round of the NCAA Golf Championship.

The No. 15-ranked Bulldogs shot a 12-over 192, one shot worse than Friday, and stand tied for 10th at 23 over par. No. 11 Georgia Tech knocked nine shots off its first-round score, shooting a 9-over 289, and is tied for 17th at 27 over at the midway point at the Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Georgia Southern, playing in the afternoon round under tougher conditions, dropped eight spots into a tie for 24th. The Eagles shot a 25-over 305 and stand at 40 over par for the tournament.

No. 1-ranked Oklahoma, coached by former UGA All-American and assistant coach Ryan Hybl, shot a 5-under 275 and surged into first place at 2 over. The Sooners are two shots better than first-round leader Vanderbilt at 4 over and four strokes ahead of No. 2-ranked Oklahoma State at 6 over.

The third round will be played Sunday. The top 15 teams advance to Monday’s fourth round, where the top eight schools will earn a spot in the match-play round that begins Wednesday.

Georgia was led by senior Trent Phillips, a finalist for national player of the year, who had a hole-in-one and shot a 2-over 72. Phillips aced the 230-yard 13th hole and added birdies at No. 16 and 17, but finished with a double-bogey.

“It was pretty electric,” Phillips said of his hole-in-one. “It was a full 6-iron I hit hard. It looked good all the way, and it went in. I could see it go in, and then I saw all the people going crazy. It was a great feeling.”

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The 520-yard par-4 finishing hole was universal trouble for the Bulldogs. Nic Cassidy bogeyed the final hole and shot a 73. Maxwell Ford made a double bogey there and finished at 76. Buck Brumlow took a triple bogey there to shoot an 81.

Ben Van Wyk was the exception, as he made a birdie at 18 and shot a 71 for the team’s low score of the day. The South African had four birdies for the second consecutive round.

Georgia Tech’s long-range putting problems limited what might have been a great round.

“We did a lot of great things today,” coach Bruce Heppler said. “We had eight or nine three-putts to shoot 9 over. They really kind of got their way around there pretty well, but those are just unforced errors.”

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The Yellow Jackets got a solid round from senior Connor Howe, who made three consecutive birdies on his second nine and shot an even-par 70.

“He shot even par with three three-putts,” Heppler said. “He played phenomenal.”

Christo Lamprecht overcame a double bogey to shoot a 1-over 70 and Bartley Forrester had three birdies en route to shooting a 74. Tech also had to count the 76 from Benjamin Reuter, a good score considering three doubles on his card.

“It’s hard to get the ball on the green but when you do you’ve got to make par,” Heppler said. “You just end up with some 30-40 foot putts and you’ve got to be better at that and get it a little closer and don’t be looking at five-footers. They need to be two-footers. If you’re looking at five-footers all day, you’re not going to make all of those. Those need to be up around the hole.”

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Georgia Tech's shot an even-par 70 in the second round of the NCAA Championship, Round 2, May 28, 2022, Grayhawk Golf Club, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Credit: Todd Drexler/Tim Cowie Photos

Georgia Tech's shot an even-par 70 in the second round of the NCAA Championship, Round 2, May 28, 2022, Grayhawk Golf Club, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Credit: Todd Drexler/Tim Cowie Photos

Combined ShapeCaption
Georgia Tech's shot an even-par 70 in the second round of the NCAA Championship, Round 2, May 28, 2022, Grayhawk Golf Club, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Credit: Todd Drexler/Tim Cowie Photos

Credit: Todd Drexler/Tim Cowie Photos

Georgia Southern was led by Mason Williams, who turned in a 3-over 73 and is tied for 14th among individuals at 2 over. The Eagles also counted a 75 from Wilson Andress, a 78 from Ben Carr and a 79 from Brantley Baker.

Vanderbilt’s Cole Sherwood shot 67 on Saturday and leads individuals at 3-under 137, one shot better than teammate Gordon Sargent and Oklahoma State’s Aman Gupta. North Carolina’s David Ford, the twin brother of Georgia’s Maxwell Ford, is tied for ninth at 1-over 141.