STILLWATER, Okla. – Two more Karsten Creek Golf Club records fell Saturday during the second day of the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships, hosted by Oklahoma State University (OSU), as sixth-ranked Alabama posted a 9-under par 279 and Clemson’s Bryson Nimmer wrapped up his first round by birdieing three of his last five holes to log an 8-under par 64.
Alabama’s record-setting mark was the second time that the Karsten Creek course record was broken this week, as the Crimson Tide’s number surpassed Northwestern’s 8-under mark that the Wildcats posted in Friday’s opening round.
“I’m proud of our guys,” Alabama coach Jay Seawell said. “We had a nice conversation last night. We had a lot of golf to play and we talked about bouncing back. We challenged them to bounce back, and I’m really proud of how the whole team did. Everyone did a good job today. Golfers always say they left strokes out there. We’re very happy with 9-under. That’s a great round at Karsten Creek.”
The Crimson Tide sit two strokes off the leaders, No. 13 Texas Tech, which posted a 1-under 287 to get to 5-under for the week. Tournament hosts and top-ranked Oklahoma State currently sits in second place at 4-under. The Cowboys were one of just six teams to shoot under par on a Karsten Creek course that bared its teeth in the second-round of stroke play.
OSU, Alabama and Texas Tech are the only three teams under par through two rounds of stroke play.
"I like that we shot lower than the first round. It's a long week so that's the goal – to get better every day,” OSU coach Alan Bratton said. “We like where we ended up so I'm pleased. Hopefully we draw some more people out. That was the best part of the day was seeing the crowds lining the fairway. Hopefully us being somewhere near the top brings out more people. We can keep giving them something to cheer about."
On the individual side, Clemson’s Nimmer notched eight birdies and was bogey-free during his opening round, which he concluded Saturday morning. His 8-under 64 passed LSU’s John Peterson, who shot a 7-under 65 during the 2011 NCAA Championship, for the Karsten Creek course record.
The junior posted a 3-over 75 in his second round and sits one shot off the lead halfway through stroke play.
"Round two was not quite as good. I still hit it really well, but I didn't make nearly as many putts,” Nimmer said. “I actually didn't putt well at all. I think I was hitting it a little closer in the first-round, so that was a little different. I'm just going to have to make more putts."
Auburn’s Brandon Mancheno is the current leader in the clubhouse at 6-under after firing the best round of any player on the course Saturday, shooting a six-under 66 on the 7,460-yard track. The freshman got off to a rocky start, bogeying his first hole of the day, but he quickly responded with a pair of birdies at Nos. 2 and 3 to get under par for the day.
Mancheno notched five more birdies and was bogey-free the rest of the way en route to posting his second-best round of the year.
"I got hot with the putter today,” Mancheno said. “I made three or four putts over 25 feet. I was just rolling it and hitting the ball well. The wind was down for the front nine, so it was pretty easy to score. I knew there were a lot of birdies to be had with par fives and a couple of short par fours. I just wasn't giving up. You can make six or seven birdies out here pretty easily."
Round three of stroke play at Karsten Creek will tee off Sunday morning at 7:00 a.m. CT. At the conclusion of play, the field will be cut to the top 15 teams and the top nine individuals not on an advancing team. The remaining teams and players will advance to Monday’s fourth and final round of stroke play.