SCOTTSDALE, Arizona – Texas Tech fell back to a tie for 14th at the 2021 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship after a challenging Saturday afternoon at the Grayhawk Golf Club’s Raptor Course. The Red Raiders will tee off at 10 a.m. (CST) on Sunday in the third round, now needing to stay within the top-15 to advance to the fourth round.
Tech progresses into the third round of the tournament at 20-over after shooting 24-over during the afternoon wave on Saturday. The team led the tournament after carding 4-under on Friday and has a 276-304 – 580 team scorecard going into Sunday’s round.
“It was a lot tougher this afternoon with the wind picking up and the greens getting baked out,” Texas Tech coach Greg Sands said. “We just didn’t do a good enough job hanging in there. We kind of let our emotions get to us early and we couldn’t make enough birdies to catch up from our start. I don’t think we did a very good job of executing or staying committed like we were able to do in our first round. We can’t let this round beat us twice though. We are still right there and have a good chance to advance if we can play well tomorrow.”
The NCAA Men’s Golf Championships consist of three days of stroke play on Friday thru Sunday (54 holes) with the top 15 teams and nine individuals not on an advancing team moving on. That is followed by a final day of 18 holes of stroke play on Monday to determine the top eight teams that will advance to match play as well as the 72-hole individual champion. The team national champion will be determined by a match-play format that will consist of quarterfinals and semifinals conducted on Tuesday, followed by the finals on Wednesday. The Golf Channel will broadcast the individual championship round on Monday and the match play rounds on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Oklahoma State leads the tournament through 36 holes at 6-under, while Oklahoma is second at 1-under. The pair of Big 12 rivals for the Red Raiders are the only teams under-par in the 30-team field after 36 holes. Arizona State is third at 2-over followed by Pepperdine (5-over) which is fourth and Illinois and North Carolina who are tied at 6-over. Tech is currently tied with Arkansas at 20-over and will be paired with the Razorbacks for the third straight round. SMU and Georgia are both one shot back at 21-over, Oregon State is at 22-over and Texas is 24-over with that contingent set for afternoon tee times and thoughts of creeping into the top-15 to advance.
Ludvig Aberg leads the Red Raiders at 4-over after shooting a 76 in his second round to follow up starting the tournament with a round of 2-under on the first day. A sophomore from Sweden, Aberg made four bogeys and a double bogey in an uncharacteristic round without a birdie. He came into the round fifth overall but dropped back to 46th going into Sunday.
Garrett Martin and Andy Lopez are tied at 5-over after two rounds with Martin shooting 4-over on Saturday and Lopez at 6-over. Martin has a 71-74 – 145 scorecard going into the third round of the championship after his second round where he made birdies on No. 3 and 12 but also six bogeys. Lopez was at even-par on Saturday through his first nine holes before bogeying six of nine to finish his day. A senior from Plano, Lopez began the tournament with a round of 1-under on Friday with two birdies and only one bogey.
Texas Tech freshman Baard Skogen finished his second round at 8-over after shooting 1-under in his first round. Skogen, who is in 82nd at 7-over, was 6-over during his first nine holes of the day before making his first and only birdie of the day on hole 3. He would bogey three of the final five holes to take a 69-78 – 147 scorecard into Sunday. Kyle Hogan is at 8-over following shooting a 78 on Saturday where he began his day with a double and triple. A senior from Cypress, Hogan made his first birdie of the day on his 12th hole of the day and finished strong with six straight pars.
“We have to reset and get back to our process that has gotten us here,” Sands said. “We didn’t respond very well today to being in the lead. Sometimes a different mindset can cost you a lot and unfortunately that happened to us today. I think we’ll respond tomorrow by getting back to being committed and focused on our game. We know that if we play like we are capable of being right there at the top of any leaderboard.”
Oklahoma State’s Bo Jin leads the tournament at 8-under followed by Ryggs Johnston (Arizona State) and Turk Petti (Clemson) who are both at 5-under. Jin shot 5-under on Saturday with seven birdies on his scorecard.
Fans can follow the tournament through live scoring at this Golfstat.com link along with on social media @TexasTechMGolf. The Golf Channel will begin its coverage of the tournament on Monday from 2-6 p.m. for the Individual National Championship before match play coverage on Tuesday and Wednesday.