May 18, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. (seminoles.com) - The Florida State men's golf team is in second place in the team standings and Seminole freshman Douglas Berger is in second place in the individual standings in the NCAA Southwest Regional Championship at the Jimmie Austin / University of Oklahoma Golf Course. With one round remaining to be played, the Seminoles are only four strokes behind Washington in the race for the team championship and eight strokes ahead of Oklahoma who begins the third round in sixth place. Berger is only one stroke behind Thomas Pieters of Illinois as he bids to become the second regional champion in school history.
The top five teams and the top individual not on one of the five teams advancing to the championship will advance from each of the six regional championships to the NCAA National Championships May 29-June 3 at the Riveria Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. The Seminoles are four strokes behind Washington, one stroke ahead of third placed Texas, four strokes ahead of fourth placed Illinois and five strokes ahead of fifth placed Georgia Tech.
"I like to refer today as adult golf," said head coach Trey Jones. "The wind and golf course challenged every player from the tee box to a short putt. We had two very good individual days from Doug shooting 34 in 25 mph winds on the back none and Daniel shooting a 69. Daniels round in my opinion was the second best round of the season for our team. Only Brooks' 63 at the FAU Spring Break Invitational would be hard to beat."
The Seminoles played the fourth best team round of the day with a 4 over par score of 292. Washington, which began the round in a tie for fourth place, carded a 7 under par team score of 281. The Huskies were followed by Georgia Tech who carded a 2 under par team total of 286. Each of the remaining 12 teams in the event finished with team scores above par with only the two teams finishing below par and only four others finishing in single digits above par.
Berger (Jupiter, Fla.) carded his second consecutive score of 69 for a two round total of 138. He was one of only nine players in the field of 75 to card a sub-par score in the windy second round. Berger is on one of only 12 players in the field who is below par for the first two days and is one of only two players who has finished with scores in the 60's in both of the first two rounds. Only Berger and Pieters have carded two rounds in the 60's. The only difference between Berger's and Pieters' scores is a double bogey 6 by Berger on the par 4 hole No. 1 in Thursday's first round. Berger has nine birdies and only one bogey while Pieters has carded 10 birdies and three bogeys for his two day total of 138.
Berger played his second round with three birdies and 15 holes scored at par. He did not card a single bogey in the second round and has played 24 straight holes without a bogey. Berger has carded only two holes above par over the course of his first 36 holes of the 54 hole tournament. After scores of par on his first two holes, Berger birdied holes No. 3, 5 and 9 to make the turn at 3 under par. He then completed his round with nine consecutive holes at par.
"I really stayed patient today because I knew the weather was going to affect everyone with the winds blowing at 30 miles per hour," said Berger. "I hit a lot of punch shot that stayed below the wind and I putted extremely well. I had to grind over a lot of five footers; each one I made helped me gain confidence as the day went on."
Berger begins play in the third round looking to become only the second Seminole to win an individual regional championship. Former Seminole All-American Drew Kittleson won the individual championship at the 2010 NCAA Central Regional Championship.
"Tomorrow I need to stay in the present and focus on playing one shot at a time."
Senior All-American Brooks Koepka (Wellington, Fla.) carded a 3 over par score of 75 and is in a tie for seventh place in the individual standings with a 2 under par total of 142. Koepka was hampered by the windy conditions and carded four bogeys and only one birdie in the second round as compared to seven birdies and only two bogeys in carding a first round score of 67. His birdie came on his 18th and final hole of the round - the second time in two rounds that he has birdied the par 5 hole No. 18.
Koepka begins the final round very much in the hunt for medalist honors and is only five strokes behind Pieters. He averages 70.56 strokes in the final round of his nine tournaments this year. Included in his final round scores is career best nine under par score of 63 in the third round of the FAU Spring Break Invitational on March 25.
Senior Wesley Graham (Port Orange, Fla.) carded a 75 in the second round and is in a tie for 18th place in the individual standings. He carded five birdies and six more holes at par in the second round to give him a two day total of 1over par 145. Graham has carded 10 birdies in his first 36 holes.
Junior Doug Letson (Tampa, Fla.) finished with an even par score of 72 and has a two day total of 145. He was 2 strokes under par on his final nine holes with two birdies and seven holes scored at par. Letson recovered well after the turn as he was 3 over par with three bogeys on his first nine holes. He has carded identical scores of 73 in the first two rounds and enters the final round of the championship with a 2 over par total of 146.
Graham (tie for 18th) and Letson (tie for 20th) make Florida State one of only three teams (the Seminoles, Washington and Texas) with four players in the top 20 of the team standings. Washington, Florida State and Texas are the top three teams in the team standings.
"Tomorrow we will need to have all five guys put up a competitive score," said Jones. "This is a tough team that will never make excuses and I will be surprised if we do not come out and compete at a high level of golf in the morning."
The event is scheduled to come to a close with a final round of 18 holes on Saturday. The Seminoles will play with Washington and Texas and are scheduled to begin teeing off at 9:40 EST.
2012 NCAA Southwest Regional Championship/May 17-19, 2012/Second Round Florida State Results Jimmie Austin Golf Course at the University of Oklahoma/Norman, Okla./Par 72 2/14. Florida State 279 292 571 2. Daniel Berger 69 69 138 T7. Brooks Koepka 67 75 142 T18. Wesley Graham 70 75 145 T20. Doug Letson 73 73 146 T55. Chase Seiffert 75 79 154
2012 NCAA Southwest Regional Championship/May 17-19, 2012/First Round Florida State Results Jimmie Austin Golf Course at the University of Oklahoma/Norman, Okla./Par 72 1. Washington 567 8. South Carolina 596 2. Florida State 571 9. Sacramento State 599 3. Texas 572 10. Arizona 600 4. Illinois 575 11. San Diego 602 5. Georgia Tech 576 12. IUPUI 604 6. Oklahoma 579 13. Middle Tennessee 620 7. St. Mary's (Cal.) 588 14. Loyola (Chicago) 621