Oct. 15, 2012
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Rice University golf took strides on Monday to move up to 10th place heading into Tuesday’s final round at the Lone Star Invitational at Hill Country Resort Golf Club. Following an opening-round 305 on Sunday, the Owls took six strokes off to pass two teams en route to 10th place with a 299 (+11) score to sit at 604 (+28) through 36 holes.
Rice’s six-stroke improvement was the second-largest of the day, trailing only Illinois State, who dropped eight strokes between rounds, but remains in 15th place.
Head coach Justin Emil was pleased with the team’s progress, including a strong start that saw the Owls propel to as high as eighth place during the round.
"The guys got off to a great start again today and came very close to posting a strong round, but we still struggled on our second nine holes. A great round is out there for sure, we just need to play better on holes one through nine, which have been our second nine holes the first two rounds."
Defending Lone Star Invitational champion Jeff Wibawa played a very consistent round, opening with seven-straight pars, followed by birdies on three of his next four holes. The junior then carded pars on five of his final seven holes to finish the day with an even-par 72.
Combined with his opening-round 73 on Sunday, Wibawa moved up eight positions to tie for 10th place with a 145 (+1). He and Houston’s Curtis Reed stand just one stroke behind a five-way tie for fifth place.
Joe Beck III matched Wibawa for the team lead on Monday with 12 pars of his own. For the day, the sophomore carded a 76 (+4) and paired it with Sunday’s 75 to tie in 40th place at 151 (+7).
Brock Wilson shaved one stroke off his score between rounds, thanks in part to 11 pars and a pair of birdies. Heading into Tuesday’s final round, he ranks 46th at 77-76-153 (+9).
Landon Michelson made the biggest leap for the Owls on Monday, cutting five strokes off his opening-round score. The junior jumped 10 places to a tie for 59th at 80-75-155 (+11) on the 6,931-yard course.
Making his first tournament appearance of the fall, Ryan Benevides dropped five places on Monday despite a solid start to the round. The sophomore carded an 82-87-169 (+25) through the first 36 holes to stand in 83rd place. Playing holes 10-18 both days, Benevides has posted a solid one-over-par mark, including all three of his birdies.
North Texas maintained its three-stroke team lead over Denver with a 295 (+7). The Mean Green wrapped up the day with a 579 (+3) total, while Rodolfo Cazaubon held onto the individual lead with a 138 (-6), four strokes up on Central Arkansas’ Pep Angles.
Competing from Conference USA, Houston moved up to fifth place at 591 (+15) and Southern Miss holds ninth place, with a six-stroke lead over Rice.
Tuesday’s final round begins with an 8 a.m. shotgun start. Paired with Southern Miss, Utah Valley and Stephen F. Austin, the Owls open play on holes 10-13.