BRADENTON, Fla. -- A new leader sits atop the standings after a whirlwind second-round at The Concession Golf Club helped separate a tight field in the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships.
Southern California used a team round of 285 (-3) to unseat Illinois for the top spot, holding on to a three-stroke lead on Illinois in second place, and a seven-stroke lead on third place Georgia and LSU.
“I feel like we all have been playing well,” Crocker said after his round. “We all have had a good tournament here or there, everyone on our team is so excited to be here and so eager. Given the opportunity we have and not being top-ranked or being highly ranked, we just want it a lot.”
Crocker’s 68 was the second-lowest score of the day, yielding only to SMU’s Bryson Dechambeau, who carded a 67 (-5) and moved into the top spot on the individual leaderboard.
Dechambeau came out of the gate quickly, grabbing a birdie on the par-4 second hole, then notching an eagle on the third. The Mustangs’ ace bogeyed just two holes and birdied five, rolling through the course and taking a two-stroke lead on Illinois’ Thomas Detry with a two-day total of 137 (-7).
After a Friday which saw 10 strokes separate fifth place from 25th, the top teams created a little breathing room Saturday as the top six teams grabbed a three-stroke lead against 7th-place Georgia Tech, and a nine-stroke lead on the three-way tie for 14th. The field will be cut from 30 to 15 following Sunday’s round, with only eight teams surviving to Tuesday.