Chico State in control of Div. 2 Championship with a blistering 63 from Eric Frazzetta
Chico State's Eric Frazzetta
Chico State's Eric Frazzetta

SIMPSONVILLE, Ky. – Golfers often circle birdies on their scorecard. Eric Frazzetta’s read something like OOOOOOOOO following his historic second round at the NCAA Golf Championships Wednesday, which is surely what anyone who saw it gasped aloud. Frazzetta’a school record 9-under par 63 included a front-nine 29 in which he posted seven birdies and a pair of pars. He negated his lone back-nine bogey with three more birdies on the back nine to help vault the Wildcats into a 3-stroke lead heading into Thursday’s final round of stroke play.

The Wildcats lead Central Oklahoma by three strokes, third-place Cal State Stanislaus by seven shots, and hold a 14 stroke advantage over St. Edward’s and South Carolina Aiken, tied for the eighth and final spot in the race for the eight berths in medal/match play that will determine the national championship team

Frazzetta’s 63 is the lowest single-round score in Chico State history, a stroke better than his own 64 at the Coyote Classic during the 2010-11 season and Brian Benedictson’s 64 during the Bakersfield Invitational in 2002-03. The honorable mention All-American last season and two-time All-West Region selection birdied his first four holes Wednesday and barely slowed down after that. After two pars, Frazzetta finished the front nine with three more birdies in a row for an astounding 29.

The senior from Long Beach birdied No. 12, bogeyed No. 14, and then came back with pars on 15 and 17 for his 63. That positioned Frazzetta squarely in the hunt for the NCAA individual title. At 8-under following two rounds, he’s one stroke behind Central Oklahoma’s Josh Creel. He has a chance to be the second straight Wildcat to win the NCAA title and fourth in 11 years. Kyle Souza accomplished the enormous feat last season and J.J. Jakovac claimed titles in 2002 and 2004.

A number of others are in the hunt for the title as well, including his teammates Souza and Bobby Bucey, both 2-under par and tied for 13th. Souza was 4-under through 10 before a double-bogey at 11 derailed his day and he finished the round 1-under. Bucey’s eagle on No. 9 spurred a 1-under round. Kevin Rei recorded an even-par 72 and is tied for 31st at 2-over for the tournament. Chris Doyle carded a 1-over par 73 and sits tied for 41st a 3-over.

Thanks to a new format at the Division II level since the Wildcats last qualified for the championships two years ago, the field will be reduced to eight teams following Thursday’s final round of stroke play. The top eight teams will then be seeded for medal/match play (stroke play over 18 holes and low score wins). Each team match will consist of five points with one point being awarded to the winner of each individual match. Winning teams will advance to the semifinals and subsequently the finals.

The Wildcats, paired with their closest pursuers – Central Oklahoma and Cal State Stanislaus – tee off at 9:50 a.m., PST, tomorrow. Doyle will lead off, followed by Rei at 10, Bucey at 10:10, Souza at 10:20, and Frazzetta at 10:30.

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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