During a second round that saw windy conditions raise scoring averages nearly three strokes from Friday's first round, Utah Valley University's JT Timmons moved four spots from a tie for 11th into a tie for seventh Saturday at the WAC Championship. As a team, the Wolverines maintained the fourth-place position with which they had entered the day and head into Sunday's final 18 just four strokes back of third-place Kansas City.
"Conditions were tough," UVU head coach Chris Curran said. "The wind was up and our problem was that we couldn't keep the ball on the golf course. Too many big numbers out there today."
The freshman Timmons shot a 73 on Saturday, carding three birdies and four bogeys while battling the winds, and he sits at even-par for the tournament with a two-day total of 144. Timmons shares his position with three other golfers and is eight strokes behind tournament leader Kenneth Fadke of New Mexico State at 136 (-8).
With three players in the top five, including the second round's low scorer in Willy Hogan's 68, NM State stayed atop the team leaderboard and enters Sunday's final round with a firm grasp on its fifth WAC title in six years. The Aggies (557) are 15 strokes ahead of second-place Idaho (572), which shot a 298 on Saturday.
Utah Valley shot a 305 in the team standings, giving it a team score of 589. The Wolverines will be looking to make a Sunday charge as they trail UMKC (585) by four strokes and UI by 17. Meanwhile, UVU will also need to stave off fifth-place Texas-Pan American (596) whose second-round 299 placed it just seven strokes back of the Wolverines.
Seattle U (600), Chicago State (607) and Bakersfield (619) round out the tournament's field in sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively.
Michael Dart stayed in a tie for 11th place after shooting a 74 on Saturday, a score that was followed by Clark Fredrickson's 78. Fredrickson finished the day where he started, in 26th on the leaderboard. Preston Richards joins Fredrickson at that spot after carding an 80, and Brayden Eriksen's 83 moved him into a tie for 35th.
"Mike and JT were solid today," Curran said. "Mike's putter was hot and Timmons kept the ball in play all day."
Like they were on Saturday, the Wolverines will be paired with UTPA and SU on Sunday as part of the day's second group off the tee. Eriksen gets the final round started at 8:50 a.m. MT, and will be followed by Fredrickson, Richards, Dart and Timmons. Timmons is expected to be off the first tee at 9:30 a.m.
Kellen Hiser is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.