(Editor’s note: RMC Athletics release)
MESA, Ariz. – Easily surviving the second day cut, the Battlin’ Bears stayed in second at the 2019 NAIA Men’s Golf National Championship. On a two-day total of 22-over-par 590, Rocky sits only behind the Texas Wesleyan Rams who extended their lead to 14 strokes at 576. The Battlin’ Bears shot a second round of 294.
“It was a battle out there today,” said head men’s golf coach Aaron Pohle. “The wind was gusting and swirling, but our guys made very good adjustments.”
Mitchell Thiessen currently leads the team tied in a sixth place standing among the 156 golfers competing this week. Thiessen shot a second round of one over-par with his two-day total at six-over-par 145. The sophomore posted three birdies and 11 pars Wednesday. He leads the entire field in par-4 scoring at one under-par.
Teammate Reece Nilsen finished the second round 4-over and tied for 22nd with a two-day score at six-over-par 148. Nilsen began the day with a birdie on the par-4 tenth hole, but racked up a double bogey on the 16th hole and followed that with two more bogeys. He regained momentum as the round drew to a close with birdies on the sixth and eight holes. He ranks third in par-4 scoring at one over-par.
With a round of two-over 73 with three birdies, Colton Murphy moved up several spots to a tie at 28th on a two-day total of seven-over-par 149.
A second round of three over-par moved HoTae Kim up to a tie in 52nd after beginning the day at 77th. His two-day total is 11-over-par 153. Despite opening the round with a triple bogey at the tenth hole, the senior recorded five birdies and seven pars during the round.
With a two-day total at 13-over-par-155, Michael Tait slid back in the rankings to 66th with a round of 10 over-par. The senior recorded 11 pars which was offset by a trio of double bogeys.
“Our goal is to stay in contention and the team has done a great job of putting themselves in a great position heading into the final two days,” said Pohle.
The Battlin’ Bears will continue into the third round tomorrow with the final round beginning Friday.