HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The Arkansas men’s golf team got off to a rough start at the NCAA Championships during its first day of play Saturday. But the Razorbacks made a move up the leaderboard before play was suspended Sunday.
Arkansas carded eight birdies over eight holes of its final round before lightning in the area halted play once again at 6:44 p.m.
The Razorbacks, who started the final round in 24th place at 18-over par, now stand at 12-over and in 19th place. Arkansas — which must finish among the top eight to reach the match play portion of the NCAA Championships — will resume its final round when play starts today at 7:30.
Arkansas is nine strokes behind UCLA, which currently sits in eighth place.
“They got it back together after, obviously, getting off to a little bit of a slow start,” Aransas coach Brad McMakin said. “They got it going. The wind was blowing really hard. We got it 6-under and we got it back into this deal if we can finish it off tomorrow morning and make a few more birdies, I think we’ll have a chance.”
The Razorbacks took the course early Sunday to finish up the end of their second round in a tournament marred by weather delays. Arkansas carded a second-round 286, which was a six-stroke improvement from the first round.
Senior Sebastian Cappelen’s morning started with birdies on his first two holes played before he wrapped up with a second round one-over 71. Through his first seven holes in the final round, Cappelen is two-under to move into a tie for seventh overall at three-under for the tournament. A three-time All-American, Cappelen will take a 12-hole bogey-free streak with four birdies into Monday.
Thanks to birdies in six of his last 13 holes played, redshirt sophomore Kolton Crawford has shot up the leaderboard into a tie for 62nd position. Crawford has turned in counting scores of 74 and 71 through the first two rounds, picking up a team-high seven birdies along the way. He’s continued his hot play through eight holes in the final round and stands at two-under.
Sophomores Taylor Moore and Nicolas Echavarria make it four Razorbacks who will enter tomorrow’s restart in the red, as both are currently one-under through eight holes. The duo put together identical rounds of 75 and 72 in the first two rounds and are currently part of a tie for 92nd place. Senior Blake Biddle will start up his final round on the ninth hole and is one-over through eight holes.
“It just goes back to us being a little bit of a slow-starting team and then they kind of get going a little bit late,” McMakin said of the Sunday improvement. “We just woke up a little too late and hopefully we can keep it going the rest of the day.”
Arkansas is among 15 teams that entered the final round in spots 16-30 in the standings. Those teams will return to the course at 7:30 a.m. to complete their final round, while the second wave of 15 teams will start taking the course at 12:10 p.m.
Earlier in the day prior to Arkansas starting its final round, the NCAA announced that the fourth round to determine the individual national champion was cancelled and that the champion will be crowned following the 54 holes of stroke play. Added this year, the fourth round of competition would have involved the top 40 individuals after three rounds of stroke play.
T7. Sebastian Cappelen – 68-71-26 (thru 7)
T62. Kolton Crawford – 74-71-30 (thru 8)
T92. Taylor Moore – 75-72-31 (thru 8)
T92. Nicolas Echavarria – 75-71-30 (thru 8)
T144. Blake Biddle – 76-79-32 (thru 8)