MCKINNEY – Sam Houston State slipped two spots to fifth with a 45-over, 621, on the second day of the 54th Southland Conference Championship from the par-72, 7,219-yard Dye Course at Stonebridge Ranch Country Club on Tuesday.
The Bearkats, who followed up an opening-round 307 with a second-round 314, will enter Wednesday’s final 18 holes 13 strokes behind of leader McNeese, who has fired a 32-over, 608.
Sam Houston’s William Holcomb (73-79 – 152) remains in contention despite falling two spots at a tie for sixth. The freshman sits 8-over, five strokes behind leaders Albert Badosa-Soler (McNeese) and Blake Elliott (McNeese) at 3-over, 147.
Jake McCrory (78-78 – 156) advanced three spots up the leaderboard and sits tied with teammate Noah Steele (75-81 – 156) in a five-way tie for 14th. Teammate Jared Jeter (81-76 – 157) posted a strong second round, vaulting eight spots up the leaderboard to sit in a tie for 19th at 13-over.
Andrew Ertel (81-82 – 163) was unable to advance on Tuesday, sitting in a tie for 32nd after falling five spots. Ertel begins play for the Kats on Wednesday at 9 a.m. as Sam Houston looks to make a final-day surge for the second-consecutive year at the event.
The senior will be followed by Jeter at 9:09 a.m., Steele at 9:18 a.m., McCrory at 9:27 a.m. and William Holcomb at 9:36 a.m. Sam Houston enters its final round one stroke behind fourth-place Stephen F. Austin (620), three back of Nicholls (618) and 10 behind second-place Southeastern Louisiana (611).
Head coach Brandt Kieschnick on the round-two results…
“It was unbelievably tough. It is playing as tough as I have seen in five years. It is blowing 20 and gusting to 30. We fought hard. I think we started the day 12 shots back. We lost a couple shots coming in. We are 13 back. We know it is very doable. There are a bunch of teams bunched up. We still believe we can win.”
Head coach Brandt Kieschnick on the approach entering Wednesday…
“We have to believe we can do it. Last year, we caught a team from 11 back on the last day. There are certain things we have to do. The conditions are so hard. We have to minimize mistakes. We want to get off to a really good start. We want to win the first three holes and the last four. That’s kind of our gameplan. We are going to try to keep our focus on each shot.”
Head coach Brandt Kieschnick on the day from William Holcomb…
“I am proud of him. He is a true freshman in contention at a conference champion. He is understanding how to play, understand a golf course. He has been working all year and it has been coming to fruition.”