May 31, 2001
DURHAM, N.C. - Sophomore Ricky Barnes tied the course record Thursday and almost single-handedly ensured that the University of Arizona men's golf team remained in the lead at the 2001 NCAA Men's Golf Championships.
Barnes, a native of Stockton, Calif., fired a seven-under-par 65 and took the overall lead in the 156-man field with a two-round total of 133 (-11). Barnes's 65 tied a Duke University Golf Course record and gave him a five-shot lead over a group of four golfers at 138 (-6). For Barnes, it was his 10th round in the 60s this spring.
The effort helped Arizona retain the overall lead in the tournament. The Wildcats tallied a one-over 289 Thursday to post a two-round total of 569 (-7). UA has a five-stroke lead over Florida, who tallied a ten-under 278 in the second round, at 574 (-2). The Cats and Gators are the only two teams under par in the 30-team field. Wake Forest stands in third place at 576 (E), while Augusta State and Georgia are tied for fourth at 580 (+4).
"We rode on Ricky Barnes' back today," said head coach Rick LaRose. "Ricky played great and we got off to a great start. We were five or six-under par for about three holes on the back and I thought we were going to light it up."
Although the squad was unable to duplicate Wednesday's eight-under team total, junior Cody Beyer and freshman Chris Nallen continue to perform well for the Wildcats. Beyer carded an even-par 72, while Nallen shot a five-over 77 , as both are tied for 14th place at 143 (-1). Nallen was tied for the first-round lead after yesterday's six-under 66.
Sophomore Reid Hatley posted his second consecutive 75 (+3) Thursday and is tied for 81st place at 150 (+6). Rounding out the UA contingent is freshman Andy Connell, who is tied for 152nd place at 160 (+16).
The field was cut to the top 15 teams and nine individuals after 36 holes. The 2001 NCAA Men's Golf Championships are being contested at the Duke University Golf Course, a par 72, 7,045-yard facility. The event runs through Saturday.