NORMAN, Okla. – Using the low team score of the day, 276 (-12), Auburn men's golf surged into first place following Tuesday's second round of NCAA Regional competition at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club.
The Tigers' day two total is tied for the second lowest all-time in Jimmie Austin postseason history.
"We played some solid golf today as a team, and it was fun to watch our guys go out there and compete," Auburn head coach Nick Clinard said. "This group is extremely talented and has a great mindset. Their youthful enthusiasm is contagious, and they are looking forward to having the opportunity to compete for a championship tomorrow."
Through the first 36 holes of play, Auburn holds at 556 (-20) with a six-stroke lead over second place Oklahoma and a 17-stroke lead over the cutoff position, sixth place. If the Tigers wish to advance through to the NCAA Championship, they will need to finish inside the top five following Wednesday's finale.
At 20-under, the team has also jumped into the program's record book with the eighth-lowest two-round tally in Auburn history.
Auburn's earth-scorching day was spearheaded by freshman Brendan Valdes who shot 4-under 68 to tie his career low through two rounds at 137 (-7). Valdes matched one bogey with three birdies and an eagle to jump into third place. The round also marked the second consecutive with an eagle for Valdes.
Sophomore J.M. Butler also continued to produce at a steady pace, carding a 3-under 69 to bring his total to 135 (-9), second amongst all individual golfers. Butler trails the leader, Travis Vick of Texas, by a single shot.
Once more sophomore Carson Bacha and junior Alex Vogelsong proved to be contributors to the Tiger lineup, shooting a pair of below-par rounds at 69 (-3) and 70 (-2), respectively. Both men managed to make birdie double the number of times they bogeyed with Bacha making six birdies and Vogelsong making four.
Following Auburn's lead, the top five teams currently in the cut for Nationals are No. 1 seed Oklahoma (562/-14), No. 2 seed Texas (568/-8), No. 5 seed Ole Miss (568/-8) and No. 9 seed Utah (572/-4).
For Wednesday's action, the Tigers will be paired with Oklahoma and Texas and will tee off with Evan Vo on the first hole at 8 a.m. CST.