Tough Day for the Tigers at NCAA Championship

The Auburn men's golf team had a rough second round at the NCAA Championship.

Pacific Palisades, Calif.—The No. 4 Auburn men's golf team finished the second round at the NCAA Championships 15 over par, leaving the Tigers 19 over after two days of play and in serious jeopardy of not qualifying to the match-play portion of the tournament. Now three shots out of eighth-place with one day left to go in the stroke play portion of the tournament, Auburn has some work to do on Thursday.

Alabama leads the field with a score of 572 (+4) after two days with UCLA second at 578. Florida State (+12), Oklahoma (+13), North Florida (+13), Washington (+14) and Liberty (+15) round out the top seven. That's when it gets interesting.

Five teams are tied for eighth place after round two with California, Kent State, Florida, USC, and Illinois all at 16-over par. With Texas and Oregon at 17-over and San Diego State tied with Auburn three shots out, to say the field is in a logjam is an understatement.

The Tigers made it difficult for themselves to get back to the top of the leaderboard before the cut after entering Wednesday tied for second with Florida at four-over.

Every Tiger had at least one double bogey or worse on their scorecard with seven such scores on the day.

Michael Johnson and Blayne Barber led the Tigers in the second round, shooting three-over rounds of 74.

After having shot the worst round for Auburn on day one, Johnson's three-over is a huge improvement from his 10-over score from the first round. More impressive is Johnson's score also came with two double bogeys on his card.

Auburn started the morning on the back nine, where Johnson shot par on the first three holes before carding back-to-back bogeys. After birdieing the 17th hole, he finished the back nine at one-over, which he finished at seven-over on Tuesday.

Johnson had ups and downs through the first nine holes of the course. The first five holes included two birdies, a bogey and two double bogeys. After three pars, Johnson's birdie on the 9th gave him his highest score so far in the tournament.

Barber's round got off to a rough start, as he double bogeyed the 10th hole. After also bogeying two more holes, an eagle on the par-five 18th hole got Barber back to two-over.

Barber kept the same score, shooting par on every hole, until he got to the ninth, which he bogeyed, earning a three-over on the day.

Will McCurdy, who shot one-over on the back nine during round one, improved his score to even par on the same nine on Wednesday. His only slip up came with a bogey on the 15th, but he countered with a birdie on the 18th.

Will McCurdy spots his putt on the 15th green.

However, McCurdy's trip through the front nine was anything but easy, as he had the highest score for it on the team. After double bogeying the par-five first hole and bogeying the second hole, he was in a rut he wasn't able to dig out of. After also bogeying the 7th hole and the 9th, McCurdy ended his day at five-over.

Finishing his first round at two-under, Dominic Bozzelli started the second round with back-to-back birdies before he had a bit of bad luck on the par-four 12th hole.

Bozzelli's adventurous 12th hole began with his tee shot landing and staying in a tree. After teeing off again, then on his third stroke, it still took him six shots to make the par four, earning a quadruple-bogey score of eight for the hole.

After bouncing back to par the rest of the way, Bozzelli headed to the 1st hole at two-over.

After shooting a two-under the first day, Bozzelli struggled to get back under par, as he matched his two-over on the back nine on the front nine.

After starting with a birdie, he then bogeyed the second hole. While still at two-over on the day, a double bogey on the fifth hole and bogey on the eighth hurt Bozzelli's score before he birdied to end the day at four-over.

Niclas Carlsson had the roughest day for Auburn after shooting a three-over on the back nine for the second day in a row. After a birdie on the par-5 11th hole, Carlsson bogeyed the next four holes before making par on every hole prior to starting the front nine.

The front nine included similar struggles for Carlsson. He triple bogeyed the second hole and followed with bogeys the third and fourth, as well. Despite two birdies through the rest of the round, Carlsson's six-over score was still the highest by one stroke and was dropped.

The Tigers will be paired with UCF and Iowa in the third round with a tee time of 10:20 CST.

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