UTEP's Simonsen Goes +3 on Day Two of NCAA Regional
May 18, 2012
UTEP freshman Martin Simonsen shot a three-over-par 75 on day two of the NCAA Norman Regional on Friday at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club.
Through 36 holes, Simonsen stands tied for 23rd place with a three-over 147 (72-75). The final round will be played on Saturday.
The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams will advance to the finals, slated for May 29-June 3 in Pacific Palisades, California.
The top five teams after two rounds are Washington (286-281-567), Florida State (279-292-571), Texas (279-293-572), Illinois (284-291-575) and Georgia Tech (290-286-576). Simonsen is eight strokes back of the top individual not on those teams, Jonathan De Los Reye of St. Mary's (Calif.), who is in third place with 139 (71-68).
Simonsen finished strong on Friday with a birdie on two of his last three holes, but triple bogeyed the fifth hole.
"He actually played a lot better today than he did on Thursday," UTEP coach Scott Lieberwirth said. "He battled and he was patient for the majority of the day, and then that big disaster hit on number five. After that he wasn't very happy, and he kind of quit thinking and made some birdies coming in late.
"We're obviously behind the eight ball going into tomorrow. It was pretty windy today, and the forecast is for stronger winds tomorrow. If he can play a great round in the wind and get in under par for the tournament, it gives him a chance to get through [to the finals]. At minimum he needs to shoot a 66 tomorrow, and that's going to be an outstanding round if the wind is going to be as strong as forecasted."
The 2012 Conference USA Freshman of the Year, Simonsen is the first UTEP individual to compete at NCAA Regionals since Roger Sloan in 2009.