Tennessee moves into second place
Keddie's strong play leads Vols charge
AUGUSTA, Ga.-- Tennessee's best two rounds of the season couldn't make a dent in the play of top-ranked Oklahoma State, but the Vols are a solid second through 36 holes of the Insperity Augusta State Invitational in Augusta, Ga.
UT entered Saturday needing a big weekend to keep its NCAA postseason hopes alive. So far, so good for Tennessee, which carded a season-best 282 in the opening 18 and followed that with a 284 that tied the previous season low set back in October at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate.
Three Vols are among the top nine individuals, led by freshman Danny Keddie. The England product returned to form and fired a 66-71--137 to climb into solo second place, four strokes behind Oklahoma State's Kevin Tway.
Tway, son of 1986 PGA Championship winner Bob Tway, tied the Insperity tournament record with an opening 64 and shot 69 in the afternoon to stand at 11-under-par 133. Three other Cowboys are among the top nine individually to boost the nation's No. 1-ranked team to a two-round total of 20-under 556.
Vying for .500
Tennessee is at 10-under 566, nine strokes clear of third-place Clemson (575). Alabama (580), Augusta State (582) and UCLA (582) round out the top five. The Vols, ranked 35th nationally this week by Golfweek/Sagarin and 36th by Golfstat.com, are in need of a quality finish to boost their won-lost record of 52-55-3.
A record of .500 or better is one of the criteria for NCAA tournament selection.
Joining Keddie in the top 10 were teammates Garrick Porteous, tied for fifth at 3-under-par 141, and Robin Wingardh, who is tied for ninth after shooting 75-68--143. Darren Renwick shot a pair of 73s and is tied for 25th, while Jay Vandeventer answered an opening 76 with a 72 in the afternoon to join a group tied for 34th place.
Keddie only enrolled this semester and opened eyes with a 10th-place showing in his collegiate debut at Southern California's Battle at the Beach. But after middle to low end finishes his last three events, Keddie opened with a flurry at Forest Hills Golf Club.
The freshman birdie his first three holes of the day, added three more birdies and capped the morning with an eagle-3 at the par-5 sixth hole. In the afternoon round, after opening with bogeys on three of his first four holes, Keddie rebounded with six more birdies -- including four in a five-hole stretch -- en route to his 71.
Porteous also started fast, playing his first nine holes in 5 under par. Three more birdies on his second nine helped the junior post a 68 that is his low round for the season and best since shooting 66 at the 2010 Schenkel Invitational. In the afternoon, Porteous closed with one of his four birdies to shoot 73 and settle in a three-way tie for fifth place.
Wingardh Closes with 68
Wingardh's opening 75 scored for the Vols, but just barely. Things were much sweeter in the nightcap, when the senior captain managed five birdies against a lone bogey for a 36-hole total of 143 that is tied for ninth.
Renwick's matching 73s were nearly identical. The junior scored four birdies in the morning and five in the afternoon, helping offset a double bogey in each round. Renwick stands at 2-over 146 in a tie for 25th.
Vandeventer recorded just one birdie in his opening 76, but an afternoon eagle-3 at the par-5 17th hole helped his fortunes. The sophomore recorded four birdies and scored his best round since shooting 72 at the opening of the John Hayt Collegiate one month ago. Vandeventer is tied for 34th at 4-over 148.