Tigers Close Gap, Move up to Second; Rochester Continues to Lead After Second Round at Billy Hitchcock Intercollegiate
April 9, 2005
Auburn, Ala. - Memphis shot the lowest team round of the day to move from third to second place while freshman Ian Rochester shot even par 72 to remain in the lead at the Billy Hitchcock Intercollegiate. The Tigers shot a two-over par 290 as a team and trail first place and nationally-ranked Auburn by just three strokes heading into the final round tomorrow morning at the Auburn University Club. Rochester, who led by four strokes after one round, now leads a second place trio by five strokes.
Memphis, which trailed third place Charlotte by five strokes and first place Auburn by 12 entering second round play, shot the best round of the day by two strokes and now leads Charlotte, which is now in third place, by nine strokes. The Tigers (295-209--585) are at nine-over par for the tournament and bested Auburn's second round score by nine strokes.
Rochester, who came within one stroke of setting the course record in his first round yesterday, came within just two strokes of equaling the school record for a 36-hole score with his 72. The Cordova High graduate remains at seven-under par at 137 (65-72), which ties three former Tiger golfers as the second lowest 36-hole score in school history. It is the best 36-hole score on the team this year as well as the best 36-hole score in relation to par this year.
Just behind Rochester in second place and tied with two other golfers is Keven Fortin-Simard who fired a second round of two-under 70 and is now at two-under 142 (72-70) for the tournament. His 70 gave the Tigers two straight rounds with a golfer shooting a score below par after a drought of such that spanned over the last eight competitive rounds for Memphis. Rochester and Fortin-Simard are two of only four golfers in the field under par.
Justin Miers carded his first round of par or below since the Missouri Bluffs Challenge back in October with a round of even par 72, helping him erase the memory of yesterday's 80 and enabling him to climb the leaderboard to a tie for 29th place at eight-over 152 (80-72). Robbie Greenwell also improved his first round score by six strokes with a four-over 76, moving him up the leaderboard as well to a tie for 51st with a score of 14-over 158 (82-76). Andy Shiels was the only Tiger to shoot a higher score in round two than round one as he fired an 81 and is now at 15-over 159 (78-81).
"Keven and Ian continued their tremendous play today and two of our other golfers improved their scores from yesterday and played much better today," said Memphis coach Grant Robbins. "We will need to continue the momentum we gained today in tomorrow's final round. Auburn is a great team and any one of their players is capable of putting up a low score so we'll have to come ready to play tomorrow. However, we have been in this position before (second place going into the final round) so that is in our favor."
Memphis has rallied from behind entering the final round to win each of its three tournament victories this year. The Tigers were two strokes, four strokes, and two strokes out and in second, second, and third place, respectively in their three titles earlier this year.