Fresno, Calif. - Dominating the course and the field on the first day of the Nick Watney Invitational, the Pacific golf team rallied off a record run at the Sunnyside Country Club to finish the opening 36-holes in first place on Monday, Sept. 29. After a strong showing in the opening round of action, the Tigers put on a clinic during the afternoon's action as Pacific put together a near-record run of 18-under at 270 to finish the day 25-under par. The Tigers' epic second round put them well ahead of the field in Fresno as they take a 17-stroke lead over the host Bulldogs of Fresno State into the final day of action on Tuesday morning.
Pacific's 18-under par in the secod round was just two short of the all-time best, a -20, 268 in the final round of the Pacific Invitational in 2012.
Getting off to a fast start in the morning session of the first day, the Tigers showed flashes of brilliance over the opening 18-holes of action as they came into the clubhouse tied for the lead at eight-under par. The initial play by junior Matt Lee sparked Pacific's early run as the second-year Tiger paced the team with a -4, 68. Not to be outdone, sophomore SeungJae Maeng and senior Byron Meth came up with stellar opening showings in support of Lee as Maeng went three-under while Meth carded a -2, 70.
For the Tigers, the first 18 proved only to be an opening salvo to the fireworks that were in store as Pacific hit the course in the afternoon on fire en route to their record team performance. Coming up with every shot needed at every turn, the Tigers took it to the course behind career rounds from Meth and newcomer Anthony Madrid.
Continuing his charge from the morning, Meth jumped out front of the crowd early in round two as he carded five birdies over his first six hole while ending the day with eight birdies to shoot a -7, 65. Meth once previously shot a 65 as a sophomore at the Del Walker Invitational in a tournament in which he just missed taking the title. His all-time best score was a 64 at the 2012 Pacific Invitational. For the senior, he sits one shot up on the competition as he finished the day at -9 overall.
Alongside of Meth, the suprise of the day was first-year Tiger and Stockton native Anthony Madrid who matched Meth shot for shot on his way to a -7, 65 in the second round as well. Madrid carded six birdies in the round and came up with the shot of the day when he holed out his approach shot on the par-4 16th to record a two-shot eagle. Madrid's showing turned around his day and put him in a tie for eighth place overall at -4.
Not to be outdone by the two at the top, Maeng held consistent on the course with a second -3, 69 to finish the day at -6 and in a tie for third overall. Lee overcame a rough start in round two to finish one-under in the round and five-under for the day, tying for fourth in the standings.
With the field squarly in their rearview mirror the Tigers will look to close out their first tournament title of the season on Tuesday, Sept. 30. The action begins at 8:00 am in a split start between the 1st and 10th tees.
|1||Byron Meth (1)||70||65||-9, 135|
|3||SeungJae Maeng (5)||69||69||-6, 138|
|T4||Matt Lee (2)||68||71||-5, 139|
|T8||Anthony Madrid (4)||75||65||-4, 140|
|T46||Drew Bender (3)||74||76||+6, 150|