Chico State takes lead at NCAA Div. 2 Championship
SIMPSONVILLE, Ky. (May 16) – Josh Creel's late eagle kept him in the individual lead and Derek Franco came through with a clutch two-under-par round as Central Oklahoma stayed near the top of the leaderboard on the second day of the NCAA Division II Men's Golf Championships here Wednesday.

The Bronchos followed Tuesday's tournament-leading 279 with a two-over 290 to fall behind Cal State-Chico heading into the final round of stroke play Thursday. The Wildcats fired an 11-under 277 to finish two trips around The Cardinal Club with a 566 total, three shots ahead of UCO.

Cal State-Stanislaus is third at 573, followed by Nova Southeastern (575), Barry (577), Georgia College (577) and Western Washington (578), with two more teams tied for eighth at 580. The top eight teams after 54 holes of stroke play advance to the match play portion of the tournament, with two rounds set for Friday and the championship finals Saturday.

Creel eagled the par-5 17th hole for the second straight day to rally for a two-under 70 that Franco matched by playing his last seven holes three under. The Bronchos also got a 74 from Dillon Rust, while Baer Aneshansley shot 76 and Andrew Green 84.

Creel has a one-stroke lead in the medalist race over Chico's Eric Frazzette, who shot a front-nine 29 and had 10 birdies in firing a nine-under 63.

UCO's five-player team amassed 25 birdies in the first round, but managed just 12 Wednesday on a day when 29 players broke par.

Creel was one-under through five holes after a birdie on the par-3 third hole and then made two bogeys and another birdie in making the turn at even- par 36. The junior star opened the back nine with seven consecutive pars before collecting his second eagle of the tournament on No. 17 and then finishing with a par.

Franco was even par after four holes before making two bogeys in a three- hole stretch, getting one of those strokes back with a birdie on the par-5 ninth hole to go out in 37. He was nearly flawless on the back nine, making birdies on Nos. 12, 13 and 17 to go with six pars in coming in with a 33.

ABOUT THE NCAA Division II Championship

The National Championship of championship of NCAA Division II men's college golf teams. From its inception through 2010, it was a 72-hole stroke play team competition, with an additional award for the lowest scoring individual competitor. The team format changed starting in 2011 to 54 holes of stroke play followed by an eight-team single elimination medal match play competition. The 54-hole individual leader is the individual champion.

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