Sports

Stanford men golfers move into fourth at NCAAs

Cardinal trails first-place UCLA by only five strokes heading into final round

For the second consecutive day, the Stanford men's golf team shot the low round of the day and jumped into fourth place at the NCAA championships in West Lafayette, Ind., on the par 72 Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex on Friday.

Scoring is incomplete as play was suspended due to lightning in the area, but it appears the Cardinal will remain fourth with an overall score of 893, five strokes behind leader UCLA and two behind co-second place USC and Clemson.

On Thursday, Stanford shrugged off a clumsy first round to climb the team leaderboard with a second round of par 288, matching Clemson.

The defending NCAA champion Cardinal seemed to have solved its problems with the course entering Saturday's final round.

Rob Grube, who shot a 73 on Friday, led Thursday's comeback with a 3-under-par 69, a nine-stroke improvement over his first-round score.

"I hit it really well today, so it was pretty low stress," Grube said. "I hit 15 greens and a lot of fairways, which around this place is really nice."

Grube rested in ninth with an overall score of 220 when play was stopped.

Also Thursday, Sihwan Kim shot par for a two-round total of 149, while Jordan Cox shot 1-under-par to finish at 150.

Dodge Kemmer shot a 76, two strokes better than his first round score and took two more strokes off his score with a 74 on Friday.

Grube shook off a tough first round to record four birdies, including on the par-3 17th hole, and one bogey for his 3-under round. He improved his score on the back nine by eight strokes.

"We played great yesterday in the front-nine, and then had a horrible back-nine," Grube said. "We were actually encouraged by yesterday, even though obviously the score wasn't what we wanted. So today we started on the back and the team got through it well. The course was playing easier with the weather and I think we had a better understanding of where we wanted to leave our shots on the course. Even though we had two practice rounds it's a very difficult course and there are a lot of blind shots."

Kim and Cox also recovered with par or better rounds on Thursday. Cox birdied his final hole to complete his eight-stroke improvement.

"I saw a lot of guys playing smart and hitting it to the middle of the green and two-putting for par, which is a pretty good way to do it out here," Stanford coach Conrad Ray said. "It helps when you can get one or two guys to step up, and today Rob did it. Rob is the heart and soul of our team. He leads by example and he's done a great job of moving into that leadership role."

The top 15 teams advance to Saturday's final round.

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