PALM CITY, Fla., MARCH 20, 2017 – Seeking his first title of the season, Rigel Fernandes will begin the final round of the Valspar Collegiate Championship just three shots off the lead.
Fernandes followed up his even-par 71 with a 72 in Monday’s second round, which moved the senior from Bradenton, Fla., up to a tie for eighth place at 1-over. North Texas’ Thomas Rosenmueller and Wake Forest’s Eric Bae are tied for the lead at 2-under.
Fernandes, who placed sixth at the Valspar event in 2015, is seeking his third tournament title as a Bull and first since a four-shot victory at the SunTrust Gator Invitational last spring.
USF (+28) cut four shots off its first-round score, but dropped six spots to 13th place at The Floridian (par 71, 7,114 yards). No. 10 Wake Forest (+3) moved into the lead and is followed in the top five by host Houston (+12), No. 3 Oklahoma State (+14), Georgia Tech (+14) and No. 14 Texas A&M (+15).
Cristian DiMarco carded three birdies in the second round and matched USF’s top score of the day with a 72. DiMarco’s four-shot improvement from the opening round helped the junior from Longwood, Fla., move up six spots to a tie for 33rd at 6-over, two shots outside the top 25.
Junior Claudio Correa (T49, +9) followed up his opening-round 75 with a 76 after shooting even par on the front nine. Kyle Flexsenhar (T62, +14) carded his second straight round of 78, while fellow freshman Andre Leveque (T65, +15) bettered his first-round score by five shots with a 76.
- Rigel Fernandes has shot par or better on 30 out of 36 holes so far. The senior from Bradenton, Fla., leads the team with 23 pars and seven birdies.
USF men’s golf returns four of seven players from the 2015-16 team that made program history with a return trip to the NCAA Championship. The Bulls have won the past two American Athletic Conference Championships in head coach Steve Bradley’s first two seasons with the program. Follow @USFMGolf on Twitter for the latest information concerning the program.