Miller, Wildenradt, Improve Scores at NCAA Regional
May 12, 2005
Stanford, Calif. - Sophomore Matt Miller led Illinois State with a three-over-par 73, but the Redbirds didn't have the balance to go with him and fell to 25th place Friday in the second round of the NCAA West Regional Tournament at the Stanford Golf Course in Stanford, Calif. Junior Kris Wildenradt was the only other Redbird player to beat his first-round score as he shot a 76--two strokes better than his Thursday score--for the team's No. 2 score of the round.
The Redbirds began on hole No. 10 of the 6,742-yard course tied for 23rd in the 27-team regional after Thursday's team score of 303, but couldn't match that on Friday as ISU's team score fell to 309.
Miller's best round of the tournament by a Redbird so far was fueled by his even par 35 on the front nine, which included two birdies and two bogies. The sophomore birdied No. 2 despite the fact that the 463-yard, par 4 has been the toughest scoring hole on the course for each of the first two rounds. Miller shot a 75 on the first day of the tournament and paces the `Birds with a 148 two-round total.
Senior Kyle Vasel fell from a first-round 76 to 80 on Friday and junior Matt Maskel followed Thursday's 75 with an 80 on Friday. Senior Denny Bull's 84 rounded out the Redbird individuals on the course.
Ten teams from each of the three regionals advance to the NCAA Finals, June 1-4 in Baltimore, Md. UNLV, with a two-under-par team score of 568 after two rounds, has a four-stroke lead over Brigham Young in the team standings. New Mexico and Washington are tied for third, 10 strokes off UNLV's pace. BYU's Oscar Alvarez leads the individual golfers by four strokes with a six-under-par 134 for the tournament.
Redbird coach Ray Kralis was hoping for a better round on Friday, but believes his team will be ready for Saturday's final 18 holes.
"It's a tough day when you don't get the scores you had hoped for," said Kralis. "It was a good round for Matt (Miller) that could have been better, but he fought all the way. Kris played without the big number holes today and that was good for him. This golf course will test you start to finish and, while we're not where we'd like to be after two rounds, you can expect us to compete and still be mentally tough for the final round."
The Redbirds play their final 18 of the 54-hole tournament beginning at 3:03 p.m. Central Time on Saturday.