May 30, 2012
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. (seminoles.com) - Florida State freshman Daniel Berger carded a 2 under par 69 and the Seminoles moved into third place in the team standings after two rounds of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship at the Riviera Country Club. As important as their third place position in the team standings is to the Seminoles, they are four strokes above the cutline for the top eight positions in the team standings to advance to the match play portion of the event which begins Friday.
The individual national champion will be crowned after Thursday's third and final round of stroke play but the top eight schools in the team standings will advance to match play to determine the team national champion. The bracket will match the top eight teams (1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6 and 4 vs. 5) in a playoff format. The national team champion will be crowned on Sunday. Thomas Pieters of Illinois is the individual leader with a two stroke lead over Anton Arboleda of UCLA. Pieters has a two round total of 137 - he is one of only seven players under par after two rounds of play.
Florida State will begin play in round three in third place in the team standings. The Seminoles are eight strokes behind first place Alabama, four strokes behind second place UCLA, one stroke ahead of Oklahoma and North Florida who are tied for fourth, two strokes ahead of sixth place Washington, three strokes ahead of seventh place Liberty, four strokes ahead of California, Kent State, Florida, and Illinois who are all tied for eighth place and five strokes ahead of Texas and Oregon who are tied for 13th place.
"While I am pleased with the overall day, I am disappointed that we did not finish the round in our usual form," said head coach Trey Jones. "We talk about discipline and attitude every day and a course like this in this setting will challenge both your discipline and your attitude. What we will do tomorrow is continue to gain confidence as the tournament progresses."
Berger (Jupiter, Fla.) was as calm and composed as he has been since joining the Seminoles' line-up for the USF Invitational during the first week of March. Since joining the line-up full-time, he has carded at least two rounds of par or better golf in each of the last six tournaments with six scores in the 60's including his 69 in the second round of the NCAA Championship finals.
With one eagle (the fifth of his freshman season and second of this championship) and three birdies to go along with 12 holes scored at par, Berger was never above par during the second round. He birdied his first hole (the par four hole No. 10) and was even when he made the turn to the front nine. He played his best golf of the day on the front nine with an eagle three on the par five hole No. 1 (the second consecutive day he has earned an eagle on that hole), five consecutive holes scores at par and a birdie on the par four hole No. 7. He finished his round 2 under on the front nine and 2 under for the round.
"I really hit my driver well today," said Berger. "This course demands that you keep your ball in play and I felt I did a good job of that today. For the past six weeks I have been a lot more patient with myself than I was during the fall and the early part of the spring. Being patient has allowed me to relax more and play much better."
"Daniel bounced back with a really good round today," said Jones. "He is playing with a great deal of confidence right now."
Senior Brooks Koepka (Wellington, Fla.), who earlier in the day was named a regional All-American for the second time in his career, carded a one over par 72. He is the Seminoles' leading golfer with a 143 total for the first two rounds of the championship and is in a tie for 10th place in the individual standings.
In carding his fifth consecutive round of par or better in his two career National Championship finals appearances, Koepka was nearly perfect during the second round with two birdies and 16 of 18 holes scored at par or better. He was 1 under par after his first eight holes, 1 over par when he made the turn and totaled one birdie and six more holes scored at par over the course of his final nine holes.
Seminole junior Chase Seiffert (Panama City, Fla.) carded his second consecutive score of 73 and is in a tie for 37th place in the individual standings with a two day total of 146. He played his best golf of the course of his final nine holes as he closed at even par with two birdies, five holes at par and two bogeys. Seiffert has carded five birdies and is just 4 strokes over par through the first two rounds of his first career NCAA Championship Finals event.
"Brooks and Chase are playing solid and simple golf through the first two rounds," said Jones. "Both players simply need to make some putts to get a good round going."
Senior Wesley Graham (Port Orange, Fla.) finished with a 5 over par score of 76. He improved his score by one stroke as compared to his play in the first round of the championship.
"Tomorrow will be a test that we are both prepared for and looking forward to," said Jones.
Florida State is paired with Alabama and UCLA and will tee off from hole No. 1 at 4:10 EST on Thursday.
NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship/May 29-June 3, 2012/Par 71 Riviera Country Club/Pacific Palisades, California/Second Round Florida State Results 3/30. Florida State 290 290 580 T10. Brooks Koepka 71 72 143 T16. Daniel Berger 75 69 144 T37. Chase Seiffert 73 73 146 T117. Wesley Graham 77 75 152 T132. Joaquin Lolas 71 84 155
NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship/May 29-June 3, 2012/Par 71 Riviera Country Club/Pacific Palisades, California/Second Round Team Results 1. Alabama 572 T15. Auburn 587 2. UCLA 576 17. UCF 588 3. Florida State 580 18. Iowa 589 T4. Oklahoma 581 19. Georgia 593 T4. North Florida 581 T20. Chattanooga 594 6. Washington 583 T20. Texas A&M 594 7. Liberty 583 22. Stanford 595 T8. California 584 T23. Virginia 598 T8. Kent State 584 T23. TCU 598 T8. Florida 584 T23. East Carolina 598 T8. Southern Cal. 584 26. UAB 600 T8. Illinois 584 T27. Memphis 601 T13. Texas 585 T27. Virginia Tech 601 T13. Oregon 585 29. Lamar 602 T15. San Diego State 587 30. Tulsa 613