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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – William Buhl had four straight birdies and Arkansas stands in a tie for 14th (580) after two rounds at the NCAA Championships, played at the par 70, 7,289-yard Grayhawk Golf Club’s Raptor Course.
By virtue of being among the top 15 teams through 36 holes, Arkansas will be a part of the morning wave for round three with the leaders, starting at 10 am (CT) off hole 1. After the round Sunday, the field will be cut to 15 teams for a fourth and final round Monday. The top eight teams after Monday will advance to match play.
The Razorbacks started on hole 10 Saturday afternoon and were tied for sixth at 2-under-par after nine holes. Segundo Oliva Pinto made the turn at -1 with a bogey and two birdies while Tyson Reeder and Julian Perico closed the front nine at even par, each with a bogey and a birdie.
Arkansas played their 10th hole (the par 4, 1st) at 4-over. It was on hole 11 (the par-4, 2nd) that Buhl began his four-hole birdie run. Oliva Pinto added a birdie during Buhl’s run. However, the Razorbacks played the short par-4, 6th hole at a combined 6-over and the 502-yar, par-4 7th at a combined 7-over.
“We got off to a good start and played the front nine well,” said head coach Brad McMakin. “The last nine, just like it was for the teams in the afternoon yesterday, got really firm and really fast. Some of the pin placements made it hard to keep it on the green. Overall, I thought we played well. After looking at our cards, we only had two bad holes – holes number six and seven, our holes 15 and 16. I am happy with our performance and we will be in the morning wave, which has proved to be a better scoring wave and will give us a chance.”
Arkansas was 13-over for the day, which was better than half the field, to fall four spots into a tie for 14th. Round one leader and Razorbacks playing partner Texas Tech was 24-over and it tied with Arkansas. Fellow playing partner San Diego State was 21-over and slipped 14 spots into a tie for 22nd.
Only six teams shot par or better, all in the morning session, with Oklahoma State taking the team lead. The Cowboys were 6-under Saturday and are 6-under (554) for the event. Oklahoma is second (559), followed by Arizona State (562), Pepperdine (565, Illinois (566), North Carolina (566), Sam Houston (570), Clemson (571) and Wake Forest (571).
Buhl climbed nine spots with his second-straight round of 2-over-par 72 and has a 36-hole score of 144 (+4). Manuel Lozada is tied with Buhl as the freshman carded a 75 on day two for a 36-hole score of 144 (+4). Reeder remained in a tie for 55th (72-73=145). Julian Perico and Segundo Oliva Pinto each improved five spots. Perico is tied for 82nd (147) and Oliva Pinto is tied for 114th (151).