ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Freshman Sebastian Cappelen shot one-over par on Saturday in the second round of the 2011 Southeastern Conference men’s golf championships at the Sea Island Golf Club to pace the Razorbacks into a tie for fourth.
The Razorbacks struggled overall as they shot 14-over par on the day, 13 strokes behind first-place Florida. The Gators had a fantastic round on Saturday, shooting two-over par to take a six-stroke lead in the competition. Tennessee sits in second place at 13-over par, and is followed by Alabama (+16) and Georgia and Arkansas (+20).
"I thought that we got a good round out of our top three players," Arkansas head coach Brad McMakin said. "We struggled at the fourth spot and that is what hurt us today. We need another round like we had at the John Hayt earlier this year in order to make a run at the championship."
The round to which McMakin referred to was Arkansas’ final day of competition at John Hayt Invitational in late February and early March. The Razorbacks overcame a 10-stroke deficit on that day to win by two strokes as junior Ethan Tracy and freshman Will Pearson combined to shoot 11-under par that day.
On Saturday, Cappelen overcame a tough start as he shot a double-bogey six on the first hole. Cappelen worked his way back to even par by the seventh hole with birdies on four and seven then made the turn at one-over par with a bogey on nine. The back side of the course, the more difficult because of the wind, was no issue for Cappelen as he knocked in nine straight par putts including an impressive showing late when he hooked his tee shot behind a tree and had to punch out before he could make his approach. The result was a shot that stuck on the green close to the pin and allowed him to save par.
Senior Jamie Marshall continued his solid play on Saturday as he finished at two-over par. The round places Marshall in a tie for sixth overall at two-over for the tournament, three strokes behind the clubhouse leader, John Peterson of LSU who stands at one-under par. Like his teammate, Marshall was consistent in his play as he hit par on 15 holes. Even through four, Marshall moved to one-under par with a birdie on five, but quickly gave the stroke back on six. A bogey on eight placed him at one-over at the turn and a single bogey on 16 was surrounded by eight pars on the back nine.
Tracy struggled early, but battled down the stretch to finish at four over for the day. Bogeys on one and four were followed by a double bogey on five and the Hilliard, Ohio, native, was quickly four strokes off the pace. Bogeys on 10 and 12 had Tracy at six-over par, but he came back with a birdie on 13 and posted a second birdie on 15 after he landed his second shot on the par five hole on the front edge of the green. Along with his pair of birdies, Tracy also hit a couple of long par putts that could have pushed Arkansas team score even further from the top had he missed.
Sophomore Josh Eure was Arkansas’ No. 4 player on Saturday as he finished his round at seven-over par. Three-over at the turn, Eure hit a fantastic shot on the par four 10th to allow him to sink his first and only birdie of the day and go back to two-over par. With an opportunity to have a great round, Eure recorded back-to-back bogeys on 13 and 14 and finished his round with a double bogey, bogey and par on 16, 17 and 18, respectively which ballooned his score to seven over.
Sophomore Austin Cook had the best start of any Razorback with a birdie on the first hole, but over the course of the day counted a double and two triple bogeys to finish the round with a score of nine-over par.
The Razorbacks begin their final round of competition at 8 a.m. on Sunday morning with players from Georgia and LSU. Eure is the first player off the tee box for Arkansas and will be followed by Cook, Tracy, Cappelen and Marshall.