LA QUINTA, Calif. – Junior Ben Taylor fired a season-low 3-under par 68 and juniors Curtis Thompson and Stewart Jolly and sophomore Zach Wright each posted even-par rounds of 71 to lead the Tigers into fourth place in the 12-team field following Tuesday’s second round at The Prestige at PGA West being held at the Greg Norman Course.
The Tigers broke par with a team score of 3-under par 281 as they moved up one spot in the team standings into fourth place with a 36-hole score of 1-under par 567 for the championship.
The 11th-ranked Stanford Cardinal posted a 4-under 280 to extend their lead to a commanding 14 shots with a team total of 19-under par 549 through two rounds. They are followed by a pair of Pac-12 Conference rivals as Washington trails in second place at 5-under 563 and Oregon follows in third place at 2-under 566 following Tuesday’s second round.
After opening the day in a tie for 37th place, Taylor cracked the Top 20 of the leaderboard in a tie for 19th place at even-par 142 as he leveled his 3-over 74 in Monday’s opening round with a season-low 3-under 68 in the second round. Taylor broke par for the first time this season with his previous best round being an even-par 72 in the final round of the David Toms Intercollegiate back on Oct. 6.
Taylor quickly dropped to 2-under par on his round with birdies at the par-four third and par-four fifth holes to highlight a bogey-free front nine. He then picked up another shot with a birdie at the par-four 10th hole as he dropped to 3-under for the day, before trading bogeys at the par-four 11th and par-three 13th holes with birdies at the par-five 12th and par-four 14th holes en route to a team-leading 3-under par 68.
A native of Leatherhead, England, is now positioned for his best finish of the season after tying for 45th place in his only appearance at the David Toms Intercollegiate during the 2013 fall season.
Thompson is on the brink of the first Top 10 finish of his junior season as he followed a 3-under 68 in the opening round with an even-par 71 in the second round to finish the day in a three-way tie for sixth place overall at 3-under par 139 for the championship. Thompson is six shots off the pace set by Stanford’s Patrick Rodgers, who has carded rounds of 6-under 65 and 3-under 68 for a leading 9-under 133 for the week.
Jolly joins Thompson and Taylor in the Top 20 of the leaderboard as he will head to Wednesday’s final round in a tie for 14th place at 1-under par 141 for the tournament. Jolly, who is the NCAA’s No. 39-ranked player in the latest Golfstat rankings, is the team leader this season with two top-five and two top-10 finishes in his four previous tournament appearances.
Wright follows in a tie for 37th place at 3-over par 145, while freshman Eric Ricard posted a 2-over 73 on Tuesday to finish the day in a tie for 60th place overall at 10-over par 152 in two days of action.
Rodgers will take a four-shot lead in the race for the individual title into Wednesday’s final round as the Stanford standout leads Cardinal teammate Maverick McNealy and San Diego State’s Ricky DeSantis on the board following the second round. Arizona State’s Max Rottluff and Stanford’s Cameron Wilson round out the top five of the leaderboard in a tie for fourth place at 4-under 138 in 36 holes.
The Tigers are paired with UCLA and San Diego State in the final round and will tee off in the first wave of teams off the front nine at the Greg Norman Course beginning at 9:33 a.m. CST. Fans can track the Tigers during the final round on Wednesday as Golfstat will provide live scoring of the finale at www.golfstat.com.
THE PRESTIGE AT PGA WEST – SECOND ROUND RESULTS
TEAM SCORES (Par 568)
1. Stanford 269-280 – 549 -19; 2. Washington 286-277 – 563 -5; 3. Oregon 285-281 – 566 -2; 4. LSU 286-281 – 567 -1; T5. UCLA 282-286 – 568 E; T5. San Diego State 280-288 – 568 E; T7. Southern California 288-286 – 574 +6; T7. Texas Tech 292-282 – 574 +6; 9. Arizona State 290-290 – 580 +12; 10. University of Stirling 292-289 – 581 +13; 11. UC-Davis 291-293 – 584 +16; 12. Pepperdine 306-279 – 585 +17.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (Par 142)
1. Patrick Rodgers, Stanford, 65-68 – 133 -9; T2. Ricky DeSantis, San Diego State, 68-69 – 137 -5; T2. Maverick McNealy, Stanford, 65-72 – 137 -5; T4. Max Rottluff, Arizona State, 69-69 – 138 -4; T4. Cameron Wilson, Stanford, 68-70 – 138 -4; T6. Curtis Thompson, LSU, 68-71 – 139 -3; T6. Brandon McIver, Oregon, 71-68 – 139 -3;T6. Corey Pereira, Washington, 69-70 – 139 -3; T9. Gerrit Chambers, Washington, 74-66 – 140 -2; T9. Lorens Chan, UCLA, 71-69 – 140 -2; T9. Matt Hansen, UC-Davis, 72-68 – 140 -2; T9. Jake McDonald, University of Stirling, 69-71 – 140 -2; T9. Anthony Paolucci, Southern California, 69-71 – 140 -2.