KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Going up a strong field featuring four teams ranked among the top 35 nationally, the Dartmouth men’s golf team got a consistently solid performance from Jason Liu to lead the Big Green during the first two rounds of play on Saturday. The freshman carded a 75-73—148 (+6) to finish the day in a tie for 35th in the 87-player field as Dartmouth found itself in 13th with a 610 (+42).
Leading the 15-team field at the end of the day was 15th-ranked Clemson at 3-under par (565), nine strokes ahead of No. 4 Georgia Tech. Both teams were 7-under par after the first 18 holes, but the Tigers’ 4-over 288 on the second tour outpaced the Yellow Jackets’ 297 (+13) as all but one team (No. 29 North Florida) posted a worse score in the afternoon.
Liu had two birdies in each round and had nothing worse than a bogey on any of his 36 holes in recording the Big Green’s top score. Freshman Sam Ohno provided the best single round for Dartmouth, completing the first 18 with a 1-over 72 with three birdies, two of which came on his final five holes. But he found more trouble the second time on the 7,099-yard, par-71 course at The Club at Irish Creek, carding an 80 (+9) on his second 18 to end the day tied for 53rd at 10-over.
Freshman James Turner recorded the most birdies for the Big Green with six, but he battled with consistency at 15-over par on the day. Last week’s winner at the Cornell Spring Invitational, senior Ian Kelsey, battled a big with the course, shooting 13-over par with a 155, while sophomore Will Bednarz came into the clubhouse at 17-over.
Clemson’s Turk Pettit will enter tomorrow’s final round with a two-stroke lead over teammate Kyle Cottam with a 136 (-6). Three other golfers also wrapped up the day beating par in Jake Brown of Indiana (-2), Bryce Hendrix of UNC Greensboro (-2) and Mark Goetz of West Virginia (-1).
The third and final round will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a shotgun start.