SILVIS,Ill. – Cumberland has a great day in round two moving up nine spots to make the cut for the first time in program history at the 69th Annual NAIA Men's Golf National Championships.
"I am thrilled for the guys and thrilled for the golf program. We went out and made Cumberland history today. It's just really cool, we were fortunate to experience it with the women and now experienceing it with men is just cool. I am humbled by the opportunity and proud of the program. We are one of seventeen teams to get to play for a national championship the next two days," said head golf coach Rich Williams.
Coach Williams made a lineup change on day two that played dividends in the Phoenix's great round. Williams subbed in freshman Will Samuelsson who shot a three-over-par 74. The freshman played very solid golf shooting even on the back-nine, the first nine the team played today, and bogeyed No. 1 and double-bogeyed No. 7.
Adrian Steeger backed up his first-round performance with a two-over-par 73 in round two. Steeger started his day with a birdie on No. 10, made par on both No. 11 and 12, and a birdie on No. 13. Steeger posted back-to-back bogeys on the No. 15 and No. 16 and doubled No. 18. The sophomore regrouped after the turn carding birdies on No. 1 and No. 2. He posted two bogeys on the front to end with a 73. Steeger sits at a two-round total of 149.
Isaac Walker improved upon his first-round mark with a second-round 73. The Mid-South Conference Freshman of the Year carded more birdies than bogeys but made a triple bogey on No. 18 to hurt his score. Walker was two-over on the back nine and finished the round even-par on the front with two birdies, two bogeys, and five pars. Walker is one shot behind Steeger at 150.
Bryson Smith also improved upon his score with a day two mark of 75. Smith played the first four holes of golf one-under-par before a bogey on No. 14 and No. 17. Smith ran into a streak of four straight bogeys on holes No. 2, 3, 4, and 5, but bounced back with a birdie on No. 6. He closed the day with three straight pars to finish four-over.
Tomi Acotto shot an 85 in round two. Acotto posted three birdies on the day on No. 10, 18, and 3, but had six bogeys, two double-bogeys, one triple, and one quadruple bogey.
Defending national champions fired a two-under 282 as a team to jump three spots and take first place after 36-holes. Keiser University and Point University are tied for second place with a 582, three strokes behind the leaders. Dalton State moved up four spots to sit in fourth place and Bellevue rounds out the top-5.
Cumberland moved up the leaderboard nine spots, but three other teams moved up 10 or more after the second round. Mid-South Conference rivals Campbellsville has also made the cut sitting in a tie for 12th at 605, two strokes better than Cumberland. Lindsey Wilson just missed out on the cut finishing in a tie for 18th place.
Tee times will be released later in the evening.
155. Will Samuelsson - 74