May 15, 2008
HOUSTON, Texas -
Western Washington University's Sean Packer (Sr., Sumner/Auburn Riverside) shot a second straight 1-under par 69 and is in a five-way tie for third in medalist play, one stroke behind the leader, after second-day action Thursday at the NCAA Division II Men's Golf National Championships being held at the Memorial Park Golf Course.
There was a one-hour delay for thunderstorms at the 72-hole tourney which continues through Saturday.
The Vikings dropped four spots into a four-way tie for eighth in the team standings as they posted a second-round score of 9-over 289 for a 36-hole total of 11-over 571.
That is 12 strokes behind leader Georgia College, which had an 8-under 272 for a 1-under total of 559. Indianapolis is second, trailing by five shots at 564 (284).
"It was somewhat of a disappointing day for us," said Western coach Steve Card, "but I look at it that we are only 12 shots out of the lead with 36 holes to play. There's a lot of golf to be played and it's pretty packed up. If we can put together a good round tomorrow and Saturday, we could be right in the mix."
Packer's round had five birdies, one bogey and one double bogey for a two-day total of 138. Tied for the medalist lead at 3-under 137 are Florida Southern's Jude Eustaquio (63-74), the first-round leader, and West Florida's Kyle Scott (72-65).
"He's (Packer) been solid both rounds, real solid," Card said. "He's shown a great a ability to bounce back after a disappointing hole and that's what you have to do. But you'd expect nothing less from a senior who knows his way around a golf course."
This is the third national tournament for Packer, who placed 35th in 2006 and 81st in 2004.
Also shooting 69 for Western, which is making its first national appearance since 2005, was Brandon Brown (Jr., Kent/Jefferson), who is tied for 53rd at 145.
The Vikings' Jake Koppenberg (Jr., Everett) shot a 74 following an opening-round 69 and is tied for 33rd at 143. Julian Peters (So., Mukilteo/Kamiak) and Thomas Jun (Fr., Federal Way/Todd Beamer) each had 77s, Peters being tied for 69th at 147 and Jun tied for 94th at 151.
"Jake (Koppenberg) just had a frustrating day," said Card. "He two putted every hole, which is very uncharacteristic. He hit some good shots and struggled on the greens. He hit good putts, but they just weren't going in for him."
It is Western's seventh NCAA II national appearance and its18th overall. The Vikings' best NCAA finish was a tie for sixth in 2000 and their top overall placing was a tie for fourth at the NAIA National Tournament in 1997.