Pirates Fall To 23rd At NCAA Championships

Harold Varner

May 30, 2012

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PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. --- The East Carolina men's golf team shot 19-over 303 Wednesday afternoon during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Championships, falling from 16th to 23rd-place.

ECU stands at 30-over 598 (295-303) through 36 holes with one round to play at the Riviera Country Club and are 15 strokes out of eighth place; only the top-8 teams advance to match play to determine the national champion.

Second-seeded Alabama holds a four stroke lead over No. 5 seed UCLA. The Crimson Tide fired a 3-over 287 to increase its round one lead by a stroke. Alabama is 4-over for the tournament, while UCLA is 8-over. Florida State (+12) is third, followed by Oklahoma (+13) and North Florida (+13) tied for fourth. Washington (+14) and Liberty (+15) are sixth and seventh with California, Kent State, Florida, USC and Illinois tied for eighth at 16-over.

East Carolina played alongside Illinois and Oklahoma in the first two rounds. The Pirates and Fighting' Illini were tied for 16th at 11-over after round one, but the Illini posted one of the lowest rounds of the day to move into the top-8.

Illinois' Tom Pieters holds the overall individual lead at 5-under 137 (69-68). Pieters, who played the first two rounds alongside ECU's Harold Varner, holds a two stroke lead over UCLA's Anton Arboleda (67-72=139) and Florida's Tyler McCumber (68-71=139).

Senior Harold Varner again posted the lowest round of the day for the Pirates. Varner fired a 2-over 73 Wednesday to move to 2-over 144 for the championship and is tied for 16th. He remained under-par through the first five holes before a double bogey on 15 put him 1-over. He pulled back even on the next to last hole, but bogeyed the final hole to finish on the plus side.

Junior Zach Edmondson posted the team's second-lowest score of the day at 3-over 74. He was 2-under after 10 holes with three birdies against just one bogey, but a triple bogey on No. 2 put him 1-over. Edmondson pared 11 of the 18 holes with a total of three bogeys to go along with his aforementioned three birdies and one triple bogey. He is 7-over (149) after 36 holes and tied for 69th.

Senior Adam Stephenson carded a 4-over 75 in round two to fall to 5-over (147). Stephenson recorded three birdies, but had five bogeys and one double bogey on the day. Fellow Senior David Watkins carded a 10-over and sophomore Ryan Eibner fired an 11-over. Watkins is 21-over for the tournament with Eibner standing at 17-over.

The Pirates will resume play Thursday morning at the Riviera Country Club at 7:50 a.m., playing alongside Conference USA rivals Memphis and UAB.