BATON ROUGE - On the strength of a season-low team score of 12-under par 276 in the second round, the No. 9-ranked LSU men's golf team jumped out to a commanding seven-stroke lead over No. 8-ranked Arkansas on Monday at the second-annual David Toms Intercollegiate at the Country Club of Louisiana.
The Tigers followed a 5-under par 283 in the first round with a record-setting score of 12-under 276 in the second round to finish the day seven shots clear of the Razorbacks with a 36-hole score of 17-under 559.
With their performance, the Tigers set a pair of collegiate course records at the Country Club of Louisiana as their 12-under 276 is a new course record for a single round and their team score of 17-under 559 in 36 holes is a new course record after the first two rounds of an event held at the par-72 layout.
The Country Club of Louisiana has played host to a total of 12 collegiate events all-time with the Country Club of Louisiana Intercollegiate from 1993-2003 and the inaugural David Toms Intercollegiate in 2009.
Not only is it a new collegiate course record, but LSU's 12-under 276 in the afternoon is the club's lowest score in relation to par in 25 years as the Tigers have not broken 11-under par in a round since 1985.
The Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders find themselves 10 shots back in third place overall with a total of 7-under par 569, while South Alabama follows in fourth place at 6-under 570 and North Florida rounds out the top five in fifth place in the team standings at 5-under 573. The Tigers are in position to defend the team title they won in the inaugural event a year ago by one stroke over North Florida and Kent State.
"Today was a great day for our program," said LSU head coach Chuck Winstead. "Having an opportunity to play this many guys in an event like this really shows the amount of talent we have in our program. We have a lot of work ahead of us tomorrow if we want to win the team title. There are many quality teams at this event with the ability to post a low number, so we'll need to come back out and play very well."
A trio of Tigers is sure to battle it out for the individual crown during Tuesday's final round as senior Ken Looper and junior Austin Gutgsell are tied atop the standings with matching 36-hole scores of 7-under par 137 and junior Andrew Loupe is just one shot back in a tie for third place at 6-under 138.
Looper, who already owns two top-10 finishes in two appearances this season, followed his 5-under 67 in the opening round with a 2-under 70 in the afternoon to finish in a tie for first place with Gutgsell. Looper hit red figures early and often while carding nine birdies and one eagle in 36 holes on the day.
While playing as an individual, Gutgsell was just as impressive while carding 11 birdies on the day with a career-low 4-under 68 in the first round and a 3-under 69 in the second round.
A Baton Rouge native, Loupe showed the form that earned him All-America honors from both PING and Golfweek a year ago while firing matching rounds of 3-under 69 for a two-round total of 6-under 138. He fired out of the gate in the first round while making four-straight birdies on holes Nos. 2-5 while posting a team-high 13 birdies on the day. Loupe is in position for his first top-10 finish of the campaign after being forced to sit out the first month while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.
Fellow senior All-American John Peterson also finds himself among the Top 10 of the individual standing as he is tied for ninth-place overall with a 36-hole score of 4-under 140. Peterson is aiming for his second top-10 finish of the season after opening the tournament with scores of 1-over 73 and 5-under 67.
Also competing as part of LSU's five-man lineup during the second-annual David Toms Intercollegiate is junior standout Sang Yi and true freshman Smylie Kaufman as LSU seeks its second team title of the fall.
Yi followed a 1-under 71 in the first round with a 1-over 73 in the second round to finish the day in a 29th-place tie at even-par 144, while Kaufman posted scores of 5-over 77 and 1-over 73 to finish the afternoon in a tie for 53rd place overall with a cumulative two-round total of 6-over 150.
Senior Clayton Rotz enjoyed a successful afternoon while competing as an individual as he recorded a 36-hole score of 3-under 141 to finish he day in a tie for 13th place, including rounds of 3-under 69 in the first round and even-par 72 in the second round. In addition, freshman Franco Castro had rounds of 1-under 71 and even-par 72 to finish in a tie for 23rd place at 1-under 143, while fellow freshman Andrew Presley tied for 29th place with Yi at even-par 144 and freshman Landon Lyons tied for 51st place at 5-over 149.
LSU opened the 2010-11 season with a win at the Gopher Invitational on Sept. 12 to earn its seventh team championship in the last two-plus seasons, including three wins apiece in both 2008-09 and 2009-10.
The Tigers are paired with Arkansas and Middle Tennessee State in Tuesday's final round and will tee off as a team from the front nine beginning at 9:20 a.m. CT. LSU's first individuals will start play at 8 a.m. as live scoring of the final round will be provided by Golfstat and can be found online at www.golfstat.com.
DAVID TOMS INTERCOLLEGIATE - SECOND ROUND RESULTS
TEAM SCORES (Par 576)
1. LSU 283-276 - 559 -17; 2. Arkansas 283-283 - 566 -10; 3. Middle Tennessee State 287-282 - 569 -7; 4. South Alabama 284-286 - 570 -6; 5. North Florida 288-285 - 573 -5; 6. Mississippi State 293-285 - 578 +2; 7. Southeastern Louisiana 300-279 - 579 +3; 8. Louisiana-Lafayette 293-289 - 582 +6; 9. Ole Miss 288-295 - 583 +7; 10. Louisiana Tech 294-291 - 585 +9; 11. UAB 297-291 - 588 +12; 12. Kansas State 301-288 - 589 +13; 13. Rice 287-304 - 591 +15; 14. Georgia Southern 304-289 - 593 +17.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (Par 144)
T1. Austin Gutgsell, LSU, 69-68 - 137 -7*; T1. Ken Looper, LSU, 70-67 - 137 -7; T3. Andrew Loupe, LSU, 69-69 - 138 -6; T3. Clinton Shepard, Louisiana Tech, 70-68 - 138 -6; T5. Jonathan Randolph, Ole Miss, 66-73 - 139 -5; T5. Kevin Aylwin, North Florida, 70-69 - 139 -5; T5. Ethan Tracy, Arkansas, 70-69 - 139 -5; T5. Brett Patterson, Middle Tennessee State, 72-67 - 139 -5; T9. John Peterson, LSU, 73-67 - 140 -4; T9. Andrew Noto, Louisiana-Lafayette, 69-71 - 140 -4; T9. Jack Watson, Kansas State, 70-70 - 140 -4; T9. McLain Leberte, South Alabama, 69-71 - 140 -4.
T1. Austin Gutgsell, 69-68 - 137 -7*
T1. Ken Looper, 70-67 - 137 -7
T3. Andrew Loupe, 69-69 - 138 -6
T9. John Peterson, 73-67 - 140 -4
T13. Clayton Rotz, 69-72 - 141 -3*
T23. Franco Castro, 71-72 - 143 -1*
T29. Sang Yi, 71-73 - 144 E
T29. Andrew Presley, 74-70 - 144 E*
T51. Landon Lyons, 75-74 - 149 +5*
T53. Smylie Kaufman, 77-73 - 150 +6
* - Indicates player competing as an individual