JONESBORO, Ark. – The Tigers battled wet, windy and cold conditions as they played the first 36-holes of the two-day 54-hole ASU Red Wolf Intercollegiate. The 21 team, 110 golfer event is being played at the Par-71, 6,565, RidgePointe Country Club.
Host Arkansas State leads the team competition with a 12-over, 580. Tennessee State cut 14 strokes from their first round to their second and is tied for 15th with a 54-over, 622. The Tigers are 14 strokes out of 10th place heading into the final round.
James Stepp leads TSU after the first two rounds and is tied for 22nd at 8-over, while Arkansas State’s Easton Key is the top individual at 1-under.
As a team, TSU carded six birdies during the first round and nine in the second. Dallas Hill, James Stepp and Andrew Warner birdied the par-5, 13th during the morning session, while Matt Campbell and Warner on the par-4, 3rd. Hill recorded his second 1-under of the morning on the par-5, 6th and Warner scored on the par-4, 9th.
In the afternoon, Hill and Stepp birdied the par-5, 5th, while Warner scored a two on the par-3, 7th. Stepp recorded two more in the afternoon, the par-4, 14th and par-3, 15th. Blake Burgett was the lone Tiger not to put up a red number on his card through the first 18, but turned it on over the next 18 with birdies on 8, 11, 13 and 18.
Stepp (79-71=150) opened the day with a tap-in birdie on the second hole of play (No. 13). The junior ran into trouble as he scored bogies on six of the next seven holes and ended the first round at 8-over. Stepp found his form in the second round with 12 pars and three birdies to shoot an even-par, 71. Stepp notched back-to-back birdies with a 6-iron to six feet on 14 and a pitching wedge to 20-feet on 15. The Cheatham, Tenn., native reached the green in two on the par-5, 5th and two putted for birdie.
Warner (81-74=155) finished the first round with a 10-over in the first round on five pars and three birdies. On 13, Warner used a gap wedge from 115-yards out to three inches, while knocking it to four feet from 55 yards on No. 3. On the par-4, 9th, the senior landed four feet from the pin as he hit out of a fairway bunker from 120 out.
Warner settled in during the second round and was even-par through 16 holes after dropping a birdie on the par-3, 7th, as hit a pitching wedge from 140-yards to within three feet. Warner finished the second round 3-over after running into issues on the final two holes of the day. The Hendersonville native hit out of bounds on the second to last hole of the day (No. 9) for a double bogey and lost another shot on 10 as his tee shot landed behind a tree. Warner punched out and finished the day at 13-over, tied for 54th place.
Hill (78-85=163) started the day off by hitting a gap wedge to eight feet on the par-5, 13th, for birdie. Hill penciled in six pars over the next 10 holes, including a great save on No. 5, as he hit in the hazard and had to take a drop. The junior stuck an 8-iron a foot away to save par and sit at 3-over. Hill was able to get a stroke back with a birdie on the par-5, 6th as he hit a sand wedge to five feet to move to 2-over through 13 holes. Hill would bogey the final five holes of the morning session to finish 7-over and tied for 49th.
The second round started as the first ended for Hill as he registered just two pars through the first eight holes. Hill found trouble on the third hole (No. 15), hitting a gap wedge up and over a tree to seven feet before two putting. The Nashville product found his groove over the next six holes by carding five pars and a birdie on No. 5. Hill hit 3-wood hybrid lob wedge to a foot of the hole for his lone birdie of the afternoon. Hill hit 10 greens in regulation and 10 fairways.
Burgett (90-74=164) struggled through the first 18-holes with just six pars as he found nine fairways and hit eight greens. Burgett opened round two in the same fashion as the first with a bogey on No. 12, but the sophomore bounced back with his first birdie of the day on No. 13. Burgett earned birdies on No. 18 and No. 8, almost holing out from the fairway leaving a tap in, to sit at 1-over through 15 in the afternoon. The Nashville native concluded the day on a high note with a birdie on No. 11 to finish the second round 3-over, as he hit 11-of-15 fairways and 11 greens.
Campbell (80-87=167) opened with three bogeys and fell to 7-over through the first eight holes. The junior hit driver to 40-yards on No. 3 and used a wedge on his second shot to four feet for his lone birdie. Campbell lost three more strokes to finish 9-over. Campbell secured seven pars during the second round as he added seven strokes from his first round.
The final round will begin with a shotgun start 8:30am on Tuesday Morning.