SALEM, Ore. (may 23, 2012) -– Midway through the 61st annual NAIA Men’s Golf National Championships presented by FORE! Salem at Creekside Golf Club, defending national champions and No. 2-ranked Oklahoma Christian holds a six-stroke lead with 36 holes remaining.
The Eagles posted a team score in the second round of even-par 288 and are a combined 9-over 585 (297-288) after 36 holes. Oklahoma Christian is six strokes ahead of Our Lady of the Lake (Texas), who posted the lowest score of the day with a combined team total of 4-under 284 and the Saints (307-284=591) are one-stroke ahead of Johnson & Wales (Fla.) with a combined 16-over 592 (298-294) for the Wildcats. Our Lady of the Lake made the biggest move on the leader board on the second day, as the Saints moved up seven spots with the only under-par score by any of the competitors.
“I feel fantastic about how we played,” said David Lynn, Oklahoma Christian head coach. “Our goal coming out this week was to have five guys in the mix. I thought the guys came out great. To see each other playing well, it really lifts up their spirits. I’m real proud of how they came out and played, as we are in the position that we wanted to be coming in here. We wanted to be near the top of the leader board coming into the final two days, so to be on top is great.”
Rounding out the Top 5 teams are British Columbia (299-295=594) and the NAIA’s No. 1-ranked Oklahoma City (297-298=595), who are separated by a single stroke heading into “Moving Day.”
Individually, Johnson & Wales’ Brandon Meltzer put on a golfing clinic thanks to a tournament-low 7-under par 65. The junior from Boca Raton, Fla., came within one stroke of breaking the course record that is held by former PGA professional and course designer Peter Jacobsen. After posting an opening round of 1-over 73 that had his tied for sixth overall, Meltzer caught fire with two straight birdies to open his round before dropping a stroke on the par-3 14th hole.
Despite the hiccup in his scorecard, Meltzer came back with an eagle on the par-5 16th hole before registering a birdie on the par-3 17th for a score of 4-under 32 on the back nine. As he made the turn, Meltzer dropped another shot on the opening hole with a bogey before recording birdies on the 4th, 6th, 8th, and 9th holes, respectively, for a 3-under opening nine.
Oklahoma Christian’s Vilhelm Bogstrand sits four strokes back with 36 holes remaining, as the junior from Oslo, Norway, has put together back-to-back rounds of 1-under par 71 for a total of 2-under 142.
Rounding out the Top 5 individuals are Texas Wesleyan’s Nathan Anderson (70-74), who was the leader after Day #1, with a two-day total of even-par 144 and a trio of players – British Columbia’s Scott Secord (74-71), Cumberland’s (Ky.) Alastair Tidcombe (75-70), and Victoria’s (B.C.) Carson Kallis (74-71) – that sit at 1-over 145.
Tomorrow’s third round will be the final chance for the teams and players to make the cut allowing them to play on the final day. Round No. 3 is scheduled to get under way at 7 a.m. on Hole No. 1 and 7:20 a.m. on Hole No. 10 with the bottom teams on the leader board going out first before the leading teams play against each other in the afternoon.
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