BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - University of Colorado junior Derek Fribbs had a rough time of it Friday, enduring a pair of double bogeys in the second round of the NCAA Men's Bowling Green Golf Regional, one of six nationwide to determine the participants in two weeks for the NCAA Finals.
Fribbs fired a 7-over par 79 on Friday for a 154 total after his opening 75; he is tied for 51st,, falling some 23 spots in in the individual standings from where he stood after the first round. Opening on the back nine, he parred his first three holes and was 1-over through six when he had a rough patch, playing the next seven holes at 6-over. The stretched included the doubles but also saw him rally with a birdie to close out the side.
"It was just a tough day overall for Derek," CU head coach Roy Edwards said. "He was hanging in there but just never got it going. In particular, he struggled with the short irons on several holes. This is a very tough golf course and immediately exposes mistakes. There is little room for error. Derek worked on some of these things post-round and is excited about playing a good round tomorrow.
Fribbs was second on the Buffs in stroke average this past season, with a 73.26 mark. He led the team in subpar rounds with 10 and tied for the team lead with 13 rounds of par or better.
The top five teams out of 14 here will advance to the NCAA Finals, as will the top individual from the nine teams that don't make it or from five golfers playing as individuals. Fribbs has his work cut out for him to advance, as he iss currently 13 strokes behind the player with the best score on the teams outside of the top five, and 15 strokes back of the top score of players on the two teams holding down fourth and fifth at present.
Stephan Jaeger of Chattanooga and Pedro Figueiredo of UCLA are tied for the individual lead after two rounds with 7-under par 137 scores. There are 12 players under par with four others equaling it through 36 holes, as the 7,248-yard, par-72 The Club at Olde Stone was again a challenge Friday, with an average score of 76.19 after it being 75.91 for the first round.
The last Buffalo to participate in the NCAA's as an individual was Justin Bardgett, doing so his senior season in 2010. He tied for 49th in the Southeast Regional with three straight 76s (for a 12-over 228).
In the team standings, No. 3 UCLA maintained its lead with a 5-under 571 score, though No. 15 Texas A&M turned in the best round of the tournament (a 10-under 278) to close to within two of the Bruins at 573. No. 34 UT-Chattanooga (575), No. 39 Memphis (582) and No. 46 Virginia Tech (583) round out the top five.
Fribbs will tee off at 8:20 a.m. MDT Saturday, once again off the No. 10 tee and paired with golfers from Penn and Alabama State, two automatic qualifiers who hold down the last two spots in the team standings. That presents another challenge to the individual here, as they usually paired with players ranked several hundred spots below them and coaches prefer their players matched with similar or better players for motivational purposes.