Washington takes leadJune 1, 2006

Sunriver, Ore. Despite wet and windy conditions during the second day at the NCAA Championship, the 22nd-ranked Washington mens golf team shot 6-under 282 in the afternoon round to take the overall lead at 13-under 563. Arizona State and Wake Forest are three strokes back at 10-under 566. Washington played particularly well on the front half of the course the Huskies last nine holes where they recorded 14 birdies. Washingtons first nine holes were disrupted by a 24-minute rain delay.

If we had shot even-par today I would have been happy, said Washington head coach Matt Thurmond. So for us to shoot six-under - Im really happy. We got a good break with the weather conditions, they werent as bad as they could have been. The greens were bumpy, as expected, but fortunately the guys were hitting it close enough that the putts werent too long. For everybody to battle the weather and the delay on our first nine, and then to tear it up on the back nine was awesome.

Sophomore Zach Bixler led the Husky charge, shooting 4-under 68 to move into a tie for second at 6-under 138. Bixlers round included five birdies, four on his second nine, with just one bogey. He has recorded five straight rounds under par, with four of five in the 60s. Wake Forests Kyle Reifers held onto the individual lead, shooting 2-under 70 for 36-hole total of 9-under 135.

I birdied my first hole, and then I was just patient for the next eight holes, Bixler said. I just hit it on the greens, took my two-putts and moved on. On the back side I went at more pins. I was hitting the ball really well, and that helped me make some birdies.

Zach was all over it on his final nine, Thurmond said. He was four-under but he could have been more - he missed a couple of birdie putts. He was in the middle of every fairway and close to every pin.

First round UW leaders Alex Prugh and James Lepp kept their spots in the top-10 in round two. Prugh shot even-par 72 and is tied for sixth at 5-under 139. Lepp, the defending NCAA Individual Champion, is 10th at 4-under 140 after shooting 1-under 71 on the day.

Erik Olson also shot 1-under 71 on the day, placing the junior 63rd at 2-over 146. Sterling Clarks 82 put him in 149th at 13-over 157.

Youve got to give credit to the guys, said Thurmond of his teams postseason success thus far. No matter what they do in the regular season their confidence is very high. All five of these guys played in the Pac-10 Championship we won last year. Four of them played in the Regional where we finished third and four of them played at the NCAA Championship. We had some up and down finishes throughout this year, but their confidence never wavered.

The third round of the NCAA Championship begins with the Huskies teeing off from the first tee tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. Live scoring of the round is available at golfstat.com.