LAFAYETTE, La. -- LSU freshman Zach Wright was brilliant in Monday's opener at the 28th-annual Louisiana Classics tournament as he followed a career-low 6-under par 66 in the first round with an even-par 72 in the second round to take a three-shot lead in the event held at Oakbourne Country Club in Lafayette.
Wright's sights are set on his first collegiate crown as he will take a three-shot lead over Louisiana-Lafayette's Brandt Garon and Kansas' Chris Gilbert in Tuesday's final round with a 36-hole score of 6-under par 138.
While playing as an individual this week, Wright carded one eagle, 10 birdies and six bogeys between the rounds while setting the pace on the first day of action.
It was sophomore Stewart Jolly setting the pace in the Tigers' starting lineup as he fired rounds of 1-under 71 and 3-over 75 to finish the day in a tie for 15th place overall at 2-over 146 after 36 holes. Jolly led the No. 14-ranked Tigers into a tie for sixth place in the team standings with a two-round total of 16-over par 592, including rounds of 10-over par 298 in the morning and 6-over par 294 in the afternoon.
The 20th-ranked Illinois Fighting Illini will take a seven-shot lead in the team race into Tuesday's final round with a 36-hole score of 3-over 579. The Illini fired a tournament-low 1-under 287 in Monday's afternoon round.
The Kansas Jayhawks follow in second place at 10-over par 586, while the 23rd-ranked Kent State Golden Flashes trail in third place at 11-over par 587, the Southeastern Louisiana Lions follow in fourth place at 13-over par 589 and the Tulsa Golden Hurricane rounds out the Top 5 in fifth place at 14-over par 590.
But Wright was certainly the story of the day as he blistered the course on a blustery opening day of action as he fired rounds of 6-under 66 and even-par 72 for a three-shot advantage on the leaderboard.
After opening his first round on the par-four 18th hole, Wright carded three-straight birdies to open the front nine at the par-four first, par-four second and par-five third holes to quickly drop to 3-under par for his round. He traded shots with a bogey at the par-four sixth and par-four eighth holes before reeling off a string of four birdies in a five-hole stretch on the back nine at the par-four 10th, par-five 11th, par-five 13th and par-four 14th holes to reach 7-under par for the morning round.
Despite giving a shot back with a bogey at the par-three 15th holes, Wright finished with a career-best 6-under 66 to take a three-shot lead following Monday's opening round.
Wright held that advantage into the afternoon as he carded an even-par 72 in the second round, highlighted by a strong eagle on No. 11 and a pair of birdies on No. 1 and No. 16.
Wright entered Monday's action with a best score of even-par 72 in his first collegiate round played on Sept. 7 at the Carpet Capital Collegiate Classic. He is also poised for the best tournament finish of his young career with his current best of 12th place coming at the David Toms Intercollegiate on Oct. 7 during the fall season.
While Jolly led the lineup with a 36-hole score of 2-over 146 to tie for 15th place overall, sophomore Curtis Thompson followed in a tie for 27th place at 4-over par 148, junior Andrew Presley trailed in a tie for 35th place at 6-over par 150 and sophomore Myles Lewis followed in a tie for 41st place at 8-over par 152.
Junior Landon Lyons rounded out the starting five by carding a 36-hole score of 10-over par 154 to finish the day in a tie for 53rd place overall on the individual leaderboard.
In addition, junior Smylie Kaufman tied for 47th place at 9-over par 153 while playing as an individual.
The Tigers are paired with Houston and Louisiana-Lafayette in Tuesday's final round and will tee off on holes Nos. 7-10 with a shotgun start scheduled for 8 a.m. CT. Live scoring of the final round will be provided by Golfstat and can be found online at www.golfstat.com. The University of Louisiana-Lafayette will also provide the live streaming video of the final round on its official athletics website at http://lsul.su/ZZUVKs.
LOUISIANA CLASSICS -- SECOND ROUND RESULTS
TEAM SCORES (Par 576)
1. Illinois 292-287 -- 579 +3; 2. Kansas 292-294 -- 586 +10; 3. Kent State 298-289 -- 587 +11; 4. Southeastern Louisiana 301-288 -- 589 +13; 5. Tulsa 303-287 -- 590 +14; T6. LSU 298-294 -- 592 +16; T6. Houston 294-298 -- 592 +16; T6. South Alabama 298-294 -- 592 +16; 9. Louisiana-Lafayette 305-295 -- 600 +24; 10. Memphis 304-298 -- 602 +26; 11. Texas State 302-304 -- 606 +30; 12. Louisiana Tech 303-309 -- 612 +36; 13. Southern Mississippi 312-301 -- 613 +37; 14. Texas-San Antonio 306-310 -- 616 +40.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (Par 144)
1. Zach Wright, LSU, 66-72 -- 138 -6*; T2. Brandt Garon, Louisiana-Lafayette, 73-68 -- 14 -3; T2. Chris Gilbert, Kansas, 72-69 -- 141 -3; 4. Thomas Perrot, Memphis, 70-72 - 142 -2; T5. Alex Gutesha, Kansas, 69-74 - 143 -1; T5. Taylor Pendrith, Kent State, 73-70 -- 143 -1; T7. Curtis Reed, Houston, 72-72 -- 144 E; T7. Alex Burge, Illinois, 74-70 -- 144 E*; T9. Roman Robledo, Houston, 70-75 -- 145 +1; T9. Thomas Detry, Illinois, 72-73 -- 145 +1; T9. Kevin Miller, Kent State, 71-74 -- 145 +1; T9. Mason Jacobs, Illinois, 74-71 -- 145 +1; T9. Luis Thiele, Texas State, 75-70 -- 145 +1; T9. Rhys West, Southeastern Louisiana, 72-73 -- 145 +1.
1. Zach Wright, 66-72 -- 138 -6*
T15. Stewart Jolly, 71-75 -- 146 +2
T27. Curtis Thompson, 75-73 -- 148 +4
T35. Andrew Presley, 76-74 -- 150 +6
T41. Myles Lewis, 80-72 -- 152 +8
T47. Smylie Kaufman, 78-75 -- 153 +9*
T53. Landon Lyons, 76-78 -- 154 +10
* - Indicates player competing as an individual.