Eagle, Idaho – The second round of the Boise State Dash Thomas Memorial Tournament on Monday came very close to being a record setting performance for the Stetson men’s golf team. Twice.
Stetson freshmen Zach Stark and Dirk Kuehler both fell one shot shy of tying for the lowest single round in school history. Both players also know, going into today’s final round, that they could have gone lower.
“They finally got it going,” Hatters coach Larry Watson said. “They did a lot of hard work in practice and that finally paid off. Freshmen have to find their way and it took a little while for them to find it.”
Kuehler put together a fabulous second round that included nine birdies. He had consecutive bad holes to open the back nine that kept him from a chance to break or tie the school record low round of 65 set by Sam Ryder in 2011.
“Dirk had had a double on number 10 (a 410-yard par 4) when he hooked his drive out of bounds and then had another bogey on 11, a 467-yard par 4,” Watson said. “He was able to put that behind him and played well the rest of the way.
“Zach played an almost perfect round. He had six birdies and a bogey on number 6, a 481-yard par 4.”
Combined with a one-over par 72 from sophomore Dustin Dingus and a five over par 76 from sophomore David Torres, the Hatters turned in a second round score of 280, which tied tournament leader Sacramento State for the low team round of the day.
Individually, Stark (74-66=140) is tied for seventh while Kuehler (75-66=141) is tied for 12th. Dingus (75-72=147) is tied for 27th while Torres (77-76=153) and freshman Eliott Azoulay (76-77=153) are in a group tied for 50th.
Stark enters the final round of play five shots behind Ty Travis of Boise State for the individual tournament lead. A transfer from Weber State, Travis posted scores of 67-68 on Monday and holds a one-shot advantage over Rylee Iacolucci of Idaho, who had the low round of the day on Monday with an opening round score of 65.
The Hatters’ 280 was 20 shots better than the opening round score for Stetson on Monday and moved the Hatters up from 10th place in the 12-team tournament, to sixth entering the final round. The Hatters are 10 shots behind Utah State for second place and 14 behind Sacramento State.
“We aren’t really worried about trying to win the tournament,” Watson said. “What we want to do is go put up two good rounds back to back. We have to take things one step at a time.”
Watson said the team got really comfortable with the course at BanBury Golf Club.
“They love the golf course,” Watson said. “They had to get used to the greens because they are so fast. Once they got used to that, everyone had better scores in the second round.”
The final round of play will have a shotgun start at 11:30 am (EDT) today. The Hatters will open play on holes 4-8 and will play the final round with players from Seattle University and Utah Valley State.
There is no live scoring available from the tournament.