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America Sky Champion Houston Baptist Improves Two Strokes in Second Round of NCAA Regional

HBU enters final round of NCAA Regional on Saturday

HBU enters final round of NCAA Regional on Saturday

May 17, 2013

Houston Baptist University improved by two strokes on Friday but remain in 13th place at the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional hosted by LSU at the University Club's par-72, 7,436-yard course.

Andy Ariens shot a 79 and is tied for 46th at 155 to pace the Huskies. Preston Stanley and Brandon Wilhide are tied for 54th at 157, with Stanley shooting 76 and Wilhide turning in an 80 in the second round. Hudson Hansard is tied for 62nd at 160, also firing a 76, while Jeffery Merrell is tied for 70th at 162 following a round of 83.

Florida continues to lead the tournament at 578, but saw its lead cut to eight strokes by top-seed Alabama, who is second at 586. South Alabama is 15 strokes back in third, while Houston is fourth at 596 and Coastal Carolina and LSU are tied for fifth at 597. HBU has a 36-hole team total of 624 after shooting 311 as a team in the second round.

Florida's TJ Vogel leads the tournament individually at 3-under par 141 after shooting 71. He leads teammate Tyler McCumber by one stroke and teammate Eric Banks by two strokes. Banks is tied for third with Alabama's Scott Strohmeyer.

The Huskies earned HBU's first automatic bid to an NCAA postseason competition since returning to Division I in 2007 by winning the America Sky Conference Championship two weeks ago.

The America Sky is also represented by three individuals who are playing at the Pullman, Wash., Regional.

Sacramento State's Jordan Weir shot 73 and Ryan Williams 75 during the second round. Weir's effort follows an opening round 66 and ties him for 12th overall with a 139 (66-73). Williams is tied for 49th place at 71-75--146. America Sky Golfer of the Year Mason Casper of Utah Valley moved up 10 spots to eighth place heading into Saturday's final round. He has a two-round total of 138 (68-70).

Both Casper and Weir enter the final round in contention to earn a berth to the NCAA Championship. Casper is tied for the lead among the individuals at 6-under par, while Weir is one stroke back at 5-under. The top five teams automatically advance as well as the lowest individual outside of those teams.