UNCG up to 11th at Puerto Rico Classic
DEL MAR, Puerto Rico – Freshman Andy Knox and sophomore Robert Hoadley repeated Sunday's performances with 1-over-par 73s on Monday to move the UNCG men's golf team up a spot in the 15-team Puerto Rico Classic. The Spartans are alone in 11th – ahead of four of the top 33 teams in the most recent national rankings – through 36 of the event's 54 holes.
UNCG (589) is two strokes back of 10th-place East Tennessee State and six back of NC State, which occupies ninth. The Spartans, who began the week rated 86th among the nation's 300 Division I programs by golfweek.com, lead four Big Ten programs in competition at the River Course at Rio Mar Country Club. Play concludes with Tuesday's final round, set to start at 9 a.m. EST at the course 20 miles east of San Juan.
"We had a solid round, the wind howled and the guys battled through it," Spartan coach Terrance Stewart said. "The entire team closed the round with birdies and saved the day. I expect the team to play very well in the final round."
Colin Chapman, who shot a 74 on Monday, and Will Almand (75) rounded out a balanced day for the Spartans. UNCG's other competitor, Justin Clement, rebounded impressively from Sunday's 81 by carding a 75 in the second round.
Knox started and finished strong, recording birdies on his first hole of the day, No. 16, and his last, the 15th. Hoadley, who also started on 16, recovered from a double bogey on 17 to play 1-under golf the rest of the way over the 6,904-yard course.
Knox and Hoadley moved from a 36th-place tie among individuals to 30th place and hope to continue the consistency as the tournament winds down. So far, Knox is following the path plotted by Hoadley, an All-Southern Conference selection as a freshman last year. He has posted scores of 74 or better in each of his past five rounds in a run that dates back to the UNCG Bridgestone Collegiate in the fall.
Georgia Tech and Alabama share the 36-hole lead in the tournament at 14-under 562.
PUERTO RICO INVITATIONAL
Rio Mar CC, River Course (Par-72, 6904 yards)
Del Mar, PR
t1. Georgia Tech 562; t1. Alabama 562; 3. Oklahoma State 568; 4. Virginia Tech 573; 5. Oklahoma 576; 6. Texas 577; 7. Georgia 580; 8. Clemson 581; 9. NC State 583; 10. East Tennessee State 587; 11 UNCG 589; 12. Purdue 590; 13. Ohio State 591; 14. Northwestern 592; 15. Michigan 602.
Top 10: 1. Bud Cauley (Alabama) 69-68—137; t2. Morgan Hoffmann (Oklahoma State) 71-67—138; t2. James White (Georgia Tech) 69-69—138; 4, Kyle Scott (Georgia Tech) 70-69—139; t5. Marshall Bailey (Virginia Tech) 69-71—140; t5. Trey Mullinax (Alabama) 71-69—140; t5. Bobby Wyatt (Alabama) 69-71—140; t8. Garland Green (Virginia Tech) 70-71—141; t8. Riley Pumphrey (Oklahoma) 70-71—141; t10. Taylor Gooch (Oklahoma State) 71-71—142; t10. J.T. Griffin (Georgia Tech) 70-72—142.
UNCG golfers: t30. Robert Hoadley 73-73--146; t30. Andy Knox 73-73--146; t52. Will Almand 74-75--149; t46. Colin Chapman 74-74--148; t73. Justin Clement 81-75--156.