Cats end Round 2 in 13th place

Bernard Schwartz

Playing in its first tournament since November, the Northwestern men’s golf team stood in 13th place Monday after the first two rounds of the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Led by senior Luke Donald, who was in seventh place at 3-under, the Wildcats shot a team total of 25-over, leaving them 33 strokes behind tournament-leader Florida.

The top of the leaderboard is a logjam, with six teams at or better than 2-under. Trailing Florida (8-under) are LSU and North Florida, who are tied at 7-under. And South Carolina, Wake Forest and Augusta State are all tied at 2-under par.

The field at this week’s event is as prestigious as the Sawgrass Country Club on which it’s being contested. Joining No. 9 NU are four other squads ranked in the Top 25 in the latest MasterCard standings – No. 4 South Carolina, No. 12 North Carolina State, No. 13 Wake Forest and No. 23 Florida.

Donald, with rounds of 67 and 74, was the only Cats golfer to see red numbers during Monday’s first two rounds. His closest teammate was freshman Tom Johnson, who was in 38th place at 4-under par. Other NU golfers in Florida are sophomore Scott Harrington, who was tied for 65th; junior Chris Thayer (71st); and senior David Shaffer (75th).

The Cats will have only 18 holes to claw their way up the leaderboard in Tuesday’s final round.