Koepka, South Florida keep Rees Jones lead after second day

sports@islandpacket.comSeptember 24, 2013 

Individual leader Chase Koepka of South Florida watches his shot during Tuesday's play the sixth annual Rees Jones Collegiate Invitational at Haig Point Club on Daufuskie Island.

TODD DREXLER — Submitted photo

Chase Koepka needed just 24 putts Monday on his way to a 2-under-par 70 to help keep the South Florida Bulls in the lead by four strokes after two rounds of the sixth annual Rees Jones Collegiate Invitational at Haig Point Club on Daufuskie Island.

Combined with his 68 on Sunday, Koepka stands at 6-under 138 for his two rounds and leads by three strokes over UNC Wilmington's Payne McLeod, who stands at 71-70--141, and by five over Kennesaw State's Jimmy Beck at 73-70--143.

Koepka, last year's the Big East Player of the Year, birdied two of his final three holes to earn a second sub-par round.

"I've been putting well ever since I got here," said Koepka, who lost in the second round of match play at the 2013 U.S. Amateur. "I've been reading the greens well and I've had a lot of uphill putts where I could be aggressive, but my ball striking has to get a bit better."

"He's had a great summer and he's continuing to play like the good player he is," South Florida coach Chris Malloy said. "He's put us in the great position. I hoped for this, but we have a young team and this is our first tournament, so you never know for sure."

South Florida has a two-day total of 7-over-par 583 in the play-five-count-four format while Kennesaw State, the team champion in 2010 and 2011, is in second place at 587.

Sophomore standout Matt NeSmith, the 2012 Sea Pines Junior Heritage champion, has two rounds at even-par 72 to pace host South Carolina, which is in third place at 588.

Defending champion Liberty is seventh in the 12-team field at 20-over 596.

Only seven players managed to break par Monday on the 7,380-yard, par 72 layout. The best round of the day was a 3-under 69 by Zach Seabolt of Winthrop, who climbed 31 places into a tie for 10th overall after 36 holes.

Play concludes Tuesday and daily tickets are available at the Haig Point Embarkation, which includes ferry transportation from Hilton Head Island. Tee times will run from 8:30-10:30 a.m.

Rees Jones Intercollegiate

Monday at Jones Signature Course, Haig Point, Daufuskie Island

Second round

Team scores

1. South Florida 286-297--583

2. Kennesaw State 290-297--587

3. South Carolina 298-290--588

4. UNC Wilmington 296-293--589

5. East Carolina 298-292--590

6. Troy 299-294--594

7. Liberty 291-305--596

8. Charlotte 291-306--597

9. Middle Tennessee St. 299-300--599

10. Georgia State 304-299--603

11. Winthrop 307-301--608

12. Charleston Southern 311-308--619

Top 10 Individuals

1. Chase Koepka, USF 68-70--138

2. Payne LcLeod, UNCW 71-70--141

3. Jimmy Beck, Kennesaw St. 73-70--143

T4. Al Dickens, East Carolina 70-74--144

T4. Matthew NeSmith, USC 72-72--144

T4. Stefan Brewer, UNCW 72-72--144

T7. Austin Vick, Kennesaw St. 74-71--145

T7. Raoul Menard, Charlotte 70-75--145

T7. Caleb Sturgeon, USC 77-68--145

T10. Michael Hocker, Liberty 71-75--146

T10. Zach Seabolt, Winthrop 77-69--146

T10. Will Murphy, USC 72-74--146

T10. Franco Castro, Charlotte 74-72--146

Other South Carolina individuals

T20. Ben Dietrich 73-75--148

T46. Blaine Woodruff 79-76--155

T52. Will Starke 77-79--156

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