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Florida State Now Alone in First Through Two Rounds

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.---Round two was completed Thursday morning at 8:20 a.m. (EDT) as the last of the 33 groups who were not able to finish up on Wednesday putted out.  The pairings are now set for the final round of stroke play which will begin at 9 a.m.

The round was not completed due to a 2-hour, 12-minute weather delay in the middle of the afternoon wave.  Nine teams, 33 players, were still on the course when play was halted due to darkness.

Teams 16-30 open the morning wave and the slate was in question as teams finished their suspended rounds.  A trio of teams tied for 14th - No. 8 Southern California, Kent State and No. 22 North Florida - resulted in a tiebreaker for who would play in the morning wave.  Based on the cumulative drop score from rounds one and two, UNF lost the tiebreaker and will play in the 16 spot this morning teeing off at 10:17 a.m.

Virginia, ranked 19th entering the event, completed its rounds this morning and made the biggest jump up the leaderboard from Tuesday's first round action.  The Cavaliers moved from 25th place to a tie for 11th with Stanford and UCLA at 580, three shots out of the top eight.  UVa started the day 13 shots back of that placing.

Prior to the suspension of play, No. 11 Florida State posted a second round 279, nine-under par, to pull out of a first place tie and into the outright lead at the NCAA Men's Championship at The Honors Course Wednesday.  The Seminoles (562) lead fourth-ranked Oklahoma State (567) by five shots.

A pair of San Diego teammates supplied the thunder to go with the stormy conditions in the afternoon wave.  Alex Ching tied the competitive course record with a six-under par 66 which is also held by Michael Sim and Ryan Blaum in the 2004 Southern Amateur.

Ching carded eight birdies on the round with a lone double bogey to blemish his ledger.  Teammate Gunner Wiebe played his first 16 holes at minus six with an eagle, four birdies and 11 pars before finishing with back-to-back bogeys in shooting 68 (-4).  The Toreros started the day tied for 16th and ended it tied for fifth after a 282 (-6).

Ching (135) leads first round co-leader Henrik Norlander (Augusta State) and Peter Uihlein (Oklahoma State) by two shots as the duo is at seven-under par 137.  Illinois' Scott Langley is in fourth at 138 (-6) after completing his second round 68 (-4) this morning.

Ching was not alone in tying the course record as twilight hit.  Virginia's Henry Smart followed his opening 82 with his own 66.  He opened with a bogey and then ran off with seven birdies and 10 pars the rest of the way.

Florida State's 279 set a new team record for the course while pulling the Seminoles out of a first round tie with Oklahoma State which shot a strong 284 (-4) of its own.  No. 15 Georgia Tech's 282 (-6) pushed the Yellow Jackets from a tie for 10th to third place at 572.

FSU, OSU and Georgia Tech are followed by No. 9 Augusta State (575), No. 13 Florida (576) and San Diego (576) in the top five.  Fifth-ranked Washington (577) and No. 14 Clemson (577) are tied for seventh to round out the coveted top eight spots.

Twelve teams are within 10 shots of the duo tied for seventh making for an interesting duel to qualify for match play.  Nine over is tied for 14th, just eight shots back and there are 10 teams separated by five shots from fourth place to the tie for 11th.  Teams 16-30 get the opportunity to post a number as they play in the morning wave.

Tickets are only available at the course and are $15 for a single session badge and $45 for the remaining four sessions.

Head coach Jeff Clark.
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