Oct. 28, 2013
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – Freshman Kevin Reilly matched a tournament record and posted the best round of his young career with a six-under par 66 on Monday in the second round of The Invitational at The Ocean Course. On the strength of the rookie’s play, Rice University golf moved up to a tie for ninth place heading into Tuesday’s final round. The Owls paired a 294 on Monday with Sunday’s 311 for a 605 (+29).
Head coach Justin Emil said, “Kevin took advantage of some early momentum and put together a PGA Tour quality round on a major championship venue. There is a lot more where that came from for this young man. I’m proud of the fight I saw out there from the rest of the guys. Tomorrow we have a chance to beat a lot of teams.”
Reilly knocked in a par-4 eagle on his third hole of the day and rode that momentum to add six birdies to his tally. He and Georgia’s Joey Garber tied the tournament record for lowest round, originally set by South Florida’s Branden Collins in 2011.
The Oviedo, Fla. native moved up to a tie for seventh place through 36 holes with a 79-66—145 (+1). His round is the lowest by an Owl since Michael Whitehead set the school record with a 61 at the 2011 Border Olympics.
Also improving upon Sunday’s opening round, Landon Michelson moved up to 26th place with a 77-73—150 (+6). The senior notched a pair of birdies on Monday.
James Lee also holed two birdies in the round, but a pair of tough stretches cost him en route to a 73-80—153 (+9), dropping the sophomore to 42nd overall.
Joe Beck III shaved seven strokes off his opening round score and ended the day in 60th place with an 82-75—157 (+13). The junior knocked in one birdie and 14 pars on the day. Freshman Alex Levy matched his output from the opening round with an 82-82—164 (+20) to tie in 73rd place. He holed one birdie.
Competing as an individual, Tommy Economou recorded his first two birdies of the event on Monday and posted a 78-82—160 (+16) heading into Tuesday. The junior is tied for 67th place.
South Florida moved into the lead at 576 (E), five strokes ahead of second-place Kentucky. USF’s Richard James leads the field with a 136 (-8), two strokes up on UK’s Cody Martin.
Rice is knotted up with Western Carolina and stands just two strokes back of eighth-place Florida (603). Georgia Southern ranks five strokes ahead of the Owls in seventh and host College of Charleston is within striking distance at 599 in sixth place.
Tuesday’s round begins at 8 a.m. ET with a shotgun start. The Owls open play on holes 11 through 14 as they look to cap off a successful fall season.
NOTES: Only two other rounds in Rice history were lower than Reilly’s (Mark Pfingston’s 65 in 1989 at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate and Jade Scott’s 65 at the 2009 David Toms Intercollegiate) … Reilly’s round is the seventh 66 in program history, and the first since Whitehead’s at The Duck Invitational in 2011.