Feb. 24, 2014
RIO GRANDE, P.R. -- After a tough day on the course Monday during the second round of the Puerto Rico Classic at Rio Mar Country Club, Northwestern fell a few spots in team standings entering Tuesday's final round.
Northwestern carded a 13-over 301 Monday to drop the Wildcats from a ninth-place tie to 14th in the 15-team field at 17-over 593 (292-301) through 36 holes of play. NU is three shots ahead of 43rd ranked North Carolina.
Ten teams ranked in the current top 50 of the Golfstat.com rankings are in the field, including five of the top 10. NU is ranked 33rd entering this event.
Northwestern began the shotgun start for the second round of the event around the turn, playing the much more difficult back nine first. NU combined to the play the back side in 19-over par before coming home much stronger via a combined 2-over par front nine.
"Started poorly but hung in there," tweeted head coach Pat Goss. "We were closer than the score looks."
Sophomore Andrew Whalen (Ephrata, Wash./Ephrata Senior) continued to lead Northwestern on day two. Beginning the round on the eighth hole, he hit his tee shot into a hazard and took bogey, then bounced back with an immediate birdie at No. 9.
"Love the resolve," tweeted Goss.
From there, Whalen traded birdies with bogeys fairly regularly, making five total birdies and six bogeys in the round. His final birdie of the day came at the 183-yard par-3 7th -- his last hole -- to give him a 1-over 73 that placed him 27th in the field at even-par 144 (71-73).
Senior Jack Perry (Santa Barbara, Calif./Santa Barbara) made birdie on his third hole before a rough stretch that included a triple bogey at No. 16 shot him up to 4-over par. He would eventually reach 5-over after making the turn, but he recovered a bit with back-to-back birdies at Nos. 4 and 5 for a 3-over 75 and two-day total of 4-over 148 (73-75). Perry stands in 46th position.
Junior Bennett Lavin (Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield) went out in 4-over 40 on the back nine Monday, then made a nice birdie at the 435-yard par-4 first hole and a second on No. 8 to find red numbers on the front side. A late double bogey, however, led to an even-par 36 coming in and a 4-over 76 for the round. Lavin is 66th overall at 8-over 152 (76-76).
Sophomore Josh Jamieson (St. Andrews, Scotland/High School of Dundee) made just one birdie Monday against 12 pars, four bogeys and one double bogey to card a 5-over 77. He is tied with Lavin at 8-over 152 (73-77).
Junior Matthew Negri (El Cajon, Calif./Grossmont) struggled out of the gate Monday, eventually finding himself 6-over through eight holes after a double bogey at the tricky 392-yard par-4 17th. He made two birdies after that, but a second double bogey on the round left him at 6-over 78 for the day and 7-over 151 (73-78) for the event, good for 60th place.
Northwestern aims to bounce back as it has done in this tournament in the past when the final round gets underway tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 25.
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