published Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Aggies all but out of hunt

Follow this link to a hole by hole preview of The Honors Course.

Defending national champion Texas A&M would need a miracle or two on today to make it to the Exclusive Eight and complete in match play to defend its title.

The Aggies shot 16 over on Wednesday morning and are 13 over for the tournament.

"We had a pretty rough day," coach J.T. Higgins said. "It was a tough day to have our worst round of the year. For anybody who thinks golf isn't a team sport, who guys play bad in the same day and you're in a lot of trouble.

"It's a tough golf course to make up ground on."

In the barn

Tournament officials halted afternoon play in plenty of time for players, spectators, officials -- everybody on the 46-acre property -- to find shelter before a thunderstorm rolled through.

They made good use of the limited facilities including having spectators wait out the storm in the 3-year-old cart barn big enough to fit 70 carts.

"We had a quick walk in, we went to the pro shop and they asked everybody to the cart barn," said Jim Breech, a friend of California coach Steve Desimone. "We went there and sat it out.

"I met a guy there by the name of Larry Fielder, he played baseball and basketball at UT and he was on the (baseball) All-Century team."

Hot streaks

Two golfers in the field had hot streaks rarely seen at The Honors Course.

Virginia's Henry Smart and Florida State's Wesley Graham each made five consecutive birdies during their Wednesday round.

Smart birdied Nos. 7 through 11 including No. 8 where hit tee shot hit off the rocks and close enough for a decent birdie putt.

Graham began his day with five straight birdies beginning on No. 10.

"I lipped-out for six in a row," Graham said. "I had seven birdies today, but if I would have started 5 over, then shot 7 birdies coming in, I'd be really happy with that. I can't complain because it's an under par score."

Ups and downs

Wednesday's second round saw its share of players and teams moving up and down the leaderboard.

This and That

The shot of the day might have been Virgnia's Will Collins' 152-yard 9 iron on No. 4, which landed past the hole and spun back into the cup for an eagle. ... Both Georgia Tech's John-Tyler Griffin and UNLV's Derek Ernst had a pair of eagles, all on par 5s, during their rounds. ...

Among the individuals that made a big leap was Georgia Tech's Kyle Scott. After opening with a 78 on Tuesday that included five bogeys and a double, Scott made three birdies during his clean round of 69 Wednesday, a nine-stroke swing from round 1.

San Diego's Gunner Weibe also made a huge move, and threatened the course record, with a 68 after shooting 75 in the first round. Weibe was at 6-under after 16 holes but bogeyed the last two.

Texas A&M took the biggest spill among the teams, going from an opening-round 285 to 304 in the second round. Texas Tech, meanwhile, opened with a 302 and shot 285.

"We needed that," Texas Tech coach Greg Sands said. "We at least gave ourselves a chance."

Continue reading by following these links to related stories:

Article: Honors not built for big comebacks

Article: Ching, Smart shoot 66s to tie Honors competitive lowest

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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