April 21, 2007
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ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Sophomore Jon Curran shot a two-under 68, the lowest round of the tournament thus far, to keep the Commodore men's golf team in the top half of the field at the 2007 Southeastern Conference Championships, hosted at Sea Island Golf Club.
Curran stands in a four-way tie for second place, three strokes back of individual leader Patton Kizzire of Auburn. Curran had three birdies on the front side and one bogey on the back to card the first 68 of the weekend.
"Jon had a fantastic round today," VU Head Coach Tom Shaw said. "His game is built to be very steady and consistent. He hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens in regulation, and made some putts when he had to. It was just a typical Jon Curran day."
As a team, Vanderbilt shot plus-15 on the day -- knocking seven strokes off their first-day total. Eleven of 12 teams in the field improved on day two, with last-place Arkansas knocking 21 strokes of their Friday effort.
With 18 holes left to play on Sunday, the Commodores are tied for sixth place with top-ranked Georgia. Tennessee posted the best round of the day, a three-over 283, to take a two-stroke lead over Alabama. Florida and Ole Miss are another two strokes back in a tie for third place. Auburn stands in fifth place at plus-32, eight strokes off the pace and five ahead of the Commodores.
Junior Billy Whalen and sophomore Tyler Matthews also showed improvement in Saturday's round. Whalen shaved four strokes off his score to card a three-over 73 on Saturday, while Matthews knocked off three strokes to finish at five-over.
"At the turn, Tyler was really struggling," Shaw added. "I challenged both him and Billy to consider the back nine as a completely new round. Billy was a three-putt on the 18th away from shooting even on the back."
Seniors Luke List and Dos Goldsmith both shot nine-over on Saturday, sharing VU's high round for the day. List had a triple-bogey on the 17th hole, while Goldsmith doubled the 18th. The 24th-ranked player in the nation, List has never finished outside the Top 20 of this event in three previous appearances.
"We are by no means out of it," Shaw stressed. "Of course you'd rather have a lead, but in our position we can be aggressive and see what happens. We want to shoot a low number and come out in front of as many teams as possible."
The Commodores will begin the final round of the 54-hole event at 7 a.m. CT on the 10th tee. The tournament is being played on Sea Island's par-70, 7,005-yard Seaside Course.
Live scoring and complete tournament results are available at http://golfstat.com/.
T2. Jon Curran +4 76-68--144
T22. Billy Whalen +10 77-73--150
T36. Luke List +12 73-79--152
T43. Tyler Matthews +13 78-75--153
T47. Dos Goldsmith +15 76-79--155