COLUMBIA, Mo. – For the fourth-seeded Arkansas men’s golf team the birdie train started early in the morning and never stopped, as the Razorbacks set a program NCAA Regional record with a 18-under par 270 to make up 17 strokes and move into a tie for the lead after two rounds at the NCAA Columbia Regional held at The Club at Old Hawthorne.
The Razorbacks started the day in a tie for fourth place and 17 strokes behind top-seeded Oklahoma State, but were able to make up the deficit thanks to a trio of five-under 67s by senior Sebastian Cappelen, sophomore Nicolas Echavarria and sophomore Taylor Moore. Redshirt sophomore Kolton Crawford completed the record-setting round with a three-under 69, marking the second time this year all four Razorbacks have finished under-par.
Arkansas’ 270 followed up a one-over 289 in Thursday’s first round, moving it into a tie with top-seeded Oklahoma State (272-287) at 17-under 559 for the tournament. Host and eighth-seeded Missouri (561) is just two strokes back in third, while third-seeded LSU (575) and fifth-seeded Arizona State (576) are both inside the coveted top five. The top five teams advance to the NCAA Championships next weekend in Hutchinson, Kan.
Seeking its first-ever NCAA Regional title and fourth NCAA Championship appearance in the last six years, Arkansas will return to The Club at Old Hawthorne starting at 8:40 a.m. for Saturday’s final round. The Razorbacks will go off the first tee from 8:40-9:20 a.m., playing alongside Oklahoma State and host Missouri.
A top 10 finisher at NCAA Regionals a year ago as a freshman, Moore is just one stroke off the lead and part of a three-way tie for second place at six-under. Dating back to the final round of the SEC Championship, Moore has now finished under-par three straight rounds, positioning himself to become possibly the first player in program history to win an NCAA Regional. Moore
Cappelen and Echavarria’s five-under 67s saw them combine for six birdies over the final four holes and move into a tie for seventh place, just three strokes off the lead. A four-time All-SEC selection, Cappelen played his final 12 holes at six-under, including a 31 on the back. Echavarria accounted for seven of the team’s staggering 28 birdies on the day, including three of the course’s four par 5s. The duo has an identical scorecard of 73-67/140 through two rounds.
Not to be lost in the trio of 67s, Crawford’s three-under 69 moved him into sole possession of 12th position, making Arkansas the only team in the regional with four players in the top 12. Coming off an even-par 72 on Thursday, Crawford played his first 10 holes at four-under par while becoming the third Razorback to surpass 100 birdies on the year. Redshirt freshman Zach Coats bounced back in the second round with a one-over 73, playing his final 11 at four-under.
T2. Taylor Moore – 71-67/136 (-6)
T7. Sebastian Cappelen – 73-67/140 (-4)
T7. Nicolas Echavarria – 73-67/140 (-4)
12. Kolton Crawford – 72-69/141 (-3)
T44. Zach Coats – 77-73/150
Worthy Of A Hog Call (#WPS)
Prior to Friday’s round, just six players in program history had shot 67 or lower in an NCAA Regional. On Friday, three Razorbacks accomplished the feat as Cappelen, Echavarria and Moore all shot five-under 67. The trio combined for 19 birdies, including 12 on the back nine.
McMakin Post-Round Sound
“We knew after Wednesday’s practice round that we would need to go low to advance out of this region. Today we focused on carrying over the momentum from the end of Thursday’s round into the morning stretch and we did that. The front nine is tough to score on and we set the tone for the day by playing nine-under on the front. I’m really proud of the guys. Saturday’s final round should be a lot of fun.”
@RazorbackMGOLF Quick Hits
· The Razorbacks set a program NCAA Regional single-round record with an 18-under par 270.
· The 270 is the lowest round by an SEC team this year and Arkansas’ lowest under head coach Brad McMakin (8 years).
· Second time in the last three rounds Arkansas has shot 275 or lower.
· Marked the second time this year that all four players have shot under-par in the same round and the fifth time at least three players have.
· First time Arkansas has posted more than two rounds in the 60s at an NCAA Regional.
· Out of the four counting scores, Arkansas played the par 5s at seven-under, par 4s at six-under and the par 3s at five-under.
· Arkansas had at least one birdie on 15 of the 18 holes.
· Arkansas finished the day with 28 birdies and has 40 through two days.
· The Razorbacks surpassed 500 birdies as a team on the year and now have 526.
· Arkansas is the only team with four players in the top 12.
· Moore has shot even-par or lower in four of his five career NCAA Regional rounds.
· Moore has 10 under-par rounds on the year.
· Moore has 18 birdies over his last three rounds with a scoring average of 67.7.
· Cappelen has a team-low three bogeys through two rounds.
· Cappelen’s under-par round was the 51st of his career.
· The round was the 140th of Cappelen’s career and his 130th counting score.
· Echavarria has shot in the 60s three of his last five rounds with a scoring average of 69.6 over that span.
· Echavarria has a counting score in a career-long nine straight rounds.
· Crawford’s five birdies on the day give him 103 on the year, making him the third Razorback with 100+ birdies.
· All three of Crawford’s under-par rounds have come in the spring.
Post-Round Tweetables (140 Characters Or Less)
· Props to @RazorbackMGolf on a program NCAA Regional record & a single-RD low by an @SEC team this year with an 18-under par 270 #WPS
· .@RazorbackMGolf enters Saturday’s final RD at the NCAA Columbia Regional in a tie for first place. #WPS #NeverYield · .@RazorbackMGolf has four players in the top 12 at the NCAA Columbia Regional. All vying to become the first Razorback to win an NCAA Regional
NCAA COLUMBIA REGIONAL STANDINGS (Seed)
T1. Arkansas (4) – 289-270/559 (-17)
T1. Oklahoma State (1) – 272-287/5559 (-17)
3. Missouri (8) – 281-280/561 (-15)
4. LSU (3) – 289-286/575 (-1)
5. Arizona State (5) – 291-285/576 (E)
6. Iowa State (6) – 291-286/579
7. San Diego State (7) – 294-288/582
8. Iowa (6) – 291-294/585
9. Virginia (2) – 285-303/588
10. Middle Tennessee State (10) – 301-292/593
11. Denver (12) – 300-301/601
12. Loyola-MD (13) – 308-294/602
13. Ohio State (11) – 308-303/611
14. Bryant (14) – 316-316/632
For more information on Arkansas men’s golf, follow @RazorbackMGolf on Twitter.