By Ron Balicki, Golfweek
Host Arkansas surged from fifth to first after posting a 5-under-par 283, which was the best second-round team score.
After struggling a bit with a 2-over 290 the previous day, the Hogs seemed to settle down in their home surroundings and take advantage of the course knowledge they have at Blessings Golf Club.
But getting off to a slow start is nothing knew for coach Brad McMakin’s Razorbacks this season. More times than not, they had mediocre-to-poor first rounds but still managed to make decent comebacks. The latest of these came in their previous start where they shot 17 over and were tied for 11th after the first day at the SEC Championship only to charge back and finish sixth.
“It seems that’s how it’s been for us most of the season,” McMakin said. “I’m not sure why. But once again the guys hung in there, never gave up, and today we were able to make a big run.”
Senior Austin Cook led the Arkansas attack with a bogey-free 4-under 68. Freshman Nicolas Echavarria added a 70 while fellow freshman Taylor Moore shot 72 and junior Sebastian Cappelen posted a 73.
“I feel it was a great team effort,” McMakin said. “They really came through and got up in position today. The key was we didn’t make any big numbers today like we did yesterday.
“I know one thing, I feel a lot better after today’s round than I did after yesterday’s round. I feel after two rounds out here on this golf course and you’re under par, you’re playing some darn good golf.”
In the opening round, Arkansas was 7 over early on and in 12th place, but came back strong at the finish and McMakin felt that carried over into the second round.
"The strong finish yesterday gave us momentum going into today and the guys took advantage of it,” he said. “We have one round to go, we have home course advantage and the guys are playing well. So now we’ll go out and see what happens.”