Eric Ricard has fired back-to-back rounds of 70 (-1) at PGA West!
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Men's Golf Grabs Round 2 Lead at PGA West

Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
Associate SID

LA QUINTA, Calif. – The No. 4-ranked LSU Men’s Golf team erased a 10-shot deficit to Stanford and Pepperdine at the start of Tuesday’s second round at The Prestige at PGA West as the Tigers fired the lowest team score in the field with a 6-under par 278 to grab a one-shot lead after 36 holes at the Greg Norman Course.

The Tigers teed off Tuesday morning in a tie for seventh place in the 13-team field after opening the 17th-annual championship with a 7-over 291 while the Cardinal and Wave opened Monday at 3-under 281.

They took a big step toward defending their team title at The Prestige at PGA West as the finished the day one shot clear of Stanford with a 36-hole team score of 1-over par 569. The Cardinal slipped to second place in the team standings with a two-day total of 2-over 570, while San Diego State and Iowa State ended the day tied for third at 3-over 571 and Texas Tech and Oklahoma followed in a tie for fifth place at 8-over 576.

Sophomore Luis Gagne led LSU’s charge up the leaderboard with a 3-under par 68, while sophomore Sam Burns added a 2-under 69, senior Eric Ricard fired a 1-under 70 and freshman Philip Barbaree carded the Tigers’ final counting score of the day with an even-par 71 in just his second career round for the Tigers.

Top Tiger

Ricard finished the day as the top Tiger on the leaderboard in a tie for sixth place on the leaderboard at 2-under par for the championship. He matched his 1-under 70 in the opening round with a 1-under 70 on Tuesday to trail Arizona State’s Jared du Toit by six shots heading into Wednesday’s final round. du Toit fired a second-straight 4-under 67 to lead Stanford’s Franklin Huang by two shots atop the leaderboard.

Ricard bounced back from a double bogey at the par-four second hole with birdies at the par-four fifth and par-three seventh to turn at even-par for his round. Birdies at Nos. 10, 11 and 13 along with bogeys at the 12th and 16th holes put the Shreveport native in position to challenge for his second win and second top-10 finish of his senior season.

Ricard was crowned a quad-champion of LSU’s own David Toms Intercollegiate during the fall season where he matched Burns, Gagne and senior teammate Brandon Pierce for his second career medalist honor.

Burns Nearly Flawless

A double bogey at the par-four 10th hole was the only blemish on Burns’ scorecard as he added birdies at the par-four fifth and par-four ninth holes on the front nine to turn at 2-under par before finishing even-par on the back nine with birdies at the par-five 12th and par-five 16th holes.

The nation’s No. 2-ranked player and Ben Hogan Award Watch List member has now finished at par or better in 18 of 20 rounds during his sophomore season while dropping his score to a cumulative 36-under par in his seven tournament starts for the 2016-17 campaign. Burns will look to close the gap on du Toit at the top of the leaderboard while challenging for his seventh-straight top-10 finish this season.

Gagne Sets Pace

Gagne set the pace for the Tigers in the second round of their title defense as he shot 26 spots up the leaderboard into a tie for 15th place at the end of the day with a two-round total of even-par 142. He leveled his 3-over 74 in Monday’s opening round with a team-leading 3-under 68 in Tuesday’s second round that featured five birdies with just two bogeys.

Gagne fired a 3-under 33 on the back nine after turning at even-par thanks to birdies at the par-four 11th, par-three 13th, par-five 16th and par-four 18th holes with his only bogey on the inward nine at No. 14.

Gagne looks to add to his All-American resume on Wednesday as he already owns three top-10 and four top-20 finishes in his six tournament starts this season. Along with tying his teammates for the title at the David Toms Intercollegiate, he was also crowned the individual champion at the Maui Jim Intercollegiate during the fall season.

Barbaree Settles In

Barbaree was tabbed to make his collegiate debut at The Prestige at PGA West after signing with the Tigers as arguably the top recruit in the country in November’s signing period and enrolling at LSU at the start of the spring semester in January. He has enjoyed a solid start to his collegiate career while sitting in a tie for 31st place through 36 holes in the event being held at PGA West.

Barbaree followed his 4-over 75 in the first round with an even-par 71 in the second as he carded four birdies and four bogeys for the day to move 21 spots up the leaderboard. He twice battled back from being 2-over par for his round to level his scorecard with his second-straight counting score.

Caldwell Cracks Top 10

Junior Blake Caldwell will certainly challenge for his first top-10 finish of the season in Wednesday’s final round after matching Burns with a 36-hole score of 1-under par 141 to tie for 10th place on the leaderboard.

Caldwell carded five birdies and four bogeys on the day for a 1-under par 70 while playing as an individual. After making the turn at 2-over par for his round, Caldwell battled back on the back nine to finish off the day in red figures with birdies at holes Nos. 10, 14 and 16 for a 3-under 33 on the inward nine. He opened the championship with an even-par 71 on Monday afternoon.

Caldwell is on track to shatter his career-best tournament score for 54 holes that stands at 7-over par 223 from his appearance at the Carpet Capital Collegiate Classic to open his sophomore season in 2015.

Wednesday’s Final Round

The Tigers are paired with Stanford and San Diego State in Wednesday’s final round at the 17th-annual Prestige at PGA West as they will tee off in the final wave off the front nine beginning at 11:20 a.m. CST. Tee times will continue through 12:04 p.m. as fans can follow the Tigers in their title defense using Golfstat’s live scoring of the event at http://www.golfstat.com.

17TH-ANNUAL PRESTIGE AT PGA WEST – SECOND ROUND RESULTS

TEAM SCORES (Par 568)
1. LSU 291-278 – 569 +1; 2. Stanford 281-289 – 570 +2; T3. San Diego State 282-289 – 571 +3; T3. Iowa State 288-283 – 571 +3; T5. Texas Tech 293-283 – 576 +8; T5. Oklahoma 286-290 – 576 +8; T7. Pepperdine 281-296 – 577 +9; T7. Arizona State 288-289 – 577 +9; T9. East Tennessee State 292-291 – 583 +15; T9. St. Mary’s (CA) 291-292 – 583 +15; 11. Stirling University 299-289 – 588 +20; 12. UC-Davis 293-296 – 589 +21; 13. San Diego 298-302 – 600 +32.

TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (Par 142)
1. Jared du Toit, Arizona State, 67-67 – 134 -8; 2. Franklin Huang, Stanford, 67-69 – 136 -6; T3. Nick Voke, Iowa State, 69-69 – 138 -4; T3. Nahum Mendoza III, San Diego State, 70-68 – 138 -4; 5. Sandy Scott, Texas Tech, 72-67 – 139 -3*; T6. Eric Ricard, LSU, 70-70 – 140 -2; T6. Ruben Sondjaja, Iowa State, 69-71 – 140 -2; T6. Quade Cummins, Oklahoma, 69-71 – 140 -2; Isaiah Salinda, Stanford, 69-71 – 140 -2*; T10. Sam Burns, LSU, 72-69 – 141 -1; T10. Blake Caldwell, LSU, 71-70 – 141 -1*; T10. Roman Aragon, St. Mary’s (CA), 69-72 – 141 -1; T10. Hannes Ronneblad, Texas Tech, 70-71 – 141 -1; T10. PJ Samiere, San Diego State, 68-73 – 141 -1.

LSU SCORES
T6. Eric Ricard, 70-70 – 140 -2
T10. Sam Burns, 72-69 – 141 -1
T10. Blake Caldwell, 71-70 – 141 -1*
T15. Luis Gagne, 74-68 – 142 E
T31. Philip Barbaree, 75-71 – 146 +4
T70. Nathan Jeansonne, 78-76 – 154 +12

* - Indicates player competing as an individual.

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