MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. — Newberry finished the second round of the Division II National Preview in first place, landing four golfers inside the top 12 of the 90-player tournament featuring competitors from 18 teams.
The third-ranked Wolves went nine over par for the day to finish eight strokes clear of Harding and No. 8 Limestone. Eleventh-ranked Colorado-Colorado Springs and South Atlantic Conference foe Queens are tied for fourth another three strokes back. The Wolves shot an eight-over 296 in the first round before a blistering second-round 289, the best 18-hole score of any team in the field.
In a tie for first, Spencer Skiff, the 17th-ranked player in Division II, was one under through the rounds with finishes of 72 and 71. Round One saw Skiff card five birdies and add three more on the back nine in the second round to finish the day in a tie with 36th-ranked Emilio Gonzales of St. Mary’s (Texas).
Ben Thompson and Harry Bolton are in a four-way tie for the eighth spot, both finishing three over par. Thompson was even through the first 18 holes, completing a steady round that included 14 pars, before finishing with a two-round score of 147. Bolton was four over through 18, but closed his second round with consecutive birdies to pull into the top 10.
Carlos Leandro maintained a top 20 finish, one stroke shy of Thompson and Bolton, in a six-way tie for 12th. He rebounded from a disastrous sequence on the back nine of the first round, going six strokes over par total between the 10th and 12th holes, with three birdies on the final five holes to finish the round with a respectable 76. He then finished two under on the back nine, including consecutive birdies to end the round, to land at even par over his second 18 holes and remain in the hunt.
Rob Cull finished the first day in 71st position at 15 over with rounds of 79 and 80, respectively.
The Wolves have 30 birdies through two rounds as a team, one off the team lead. Three of the top five individual leaders are from Newberry; Leandro with nine, Skiff and Bolton with eight.