Gilbert Shoots Even Par, Climbs into tie for 11th

May 17, 2013

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – There were moments Friday that made it seem like everything was going against Kansas senior Chris Gilbert at the NCAA Fayetteville Regional. First, a glitch with the scoring software added 147 strokes to his total on his fifth hole, then came a string of three straight bogeys, including the first of three par putts that lipped out for bogey on the afternoon.

When the dust settled and the digital kinks were worked out, Gilbert managed to keep his composure and used five birdies to offset five bogeys and moved into a tie for 11th place after shooting even-par 72 at Blessings Golf Club Friday. Gilbert, who entered the day tied for 20th after shooting a 1-over 73 on Thursday, was five strokes off the lead with a two day tally of 73-72—145 (+1).

“There were a couple bad swings, a couple bad breaks, but he played pretty solid today,” Kansas head coach Jamie Bermel said. “He was right around the hole quite a few times. I thought he hit the ball a lot better today than yesterday, just caught a couple bad breaks and missed a couple par putts. If those don’t lip out and lip in, he shoots three under. It was still a good, solid round.”

Tournament-host Arkansas moved into the team lead with a 290-283—573 (-3) total, but the top-five teams remained unchanged from Thursday with Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma State and Kent State in position to advance. SMU’s Mario Clemens and Stephen F. Austin’s Mitchell McLeroy, were in a three-way tie for the tournament lead and top player not on an advancing team at 4-under 140 – a position Gilbert will have to be in to advance to the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship in Atlanta. Arkansas’ Austin Cook was also tied for the tournament lead.

Gilbert started on the back nine and attacked the course while shooting birdies on No. 11 and No. 12 before slipping into a back-to-back-to-back bogey rut. That’s when the computers went haywire, and though it may have momentarily felt like he added 100 strokes, Gilbert rebounded with birdies on No. 16 and No. 17 and closed his first nine in the red with a par on No. 18.

A day after shooting a combined 5-over on the par 3s, Gilbert shot even par on the short holes, including No. 5, where he double bogeyed Thursday. Gilbert was far less up and down on the front nine with six pars, and split up a pair of bogeys on the front nine with a birdie on No. 4 to close even for the day.

“I think if he can shoot four under tomorrow, he may have a chance – you just never know who if a team qualifies,” Bermel said. “On this golf course, the lead is hard to hold onto because there’s a lot of holes where you can make a big number. We’d much rather be in the lead, but we’ll go out see what we can do tomorrow and see if we can’t catch them.”

Gilbert will tee off for in the decisive third round Saturday at 9:40 a.m. (CT) and will be paired with Alabama State’s Branson Ferrier and Missouri Kansas City’s Korbin Kuehn. The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.