Cats in 9th after 2 rounds

Bernard Schwartz

After two rounds of the NCAA Puerto Rico Classic, the Northwestern men’s golf stood in a tie for ninth place Monday at 24-over par.

The No. 9 Wildcats, who were in seventh after Sunday’s first round, dropped into a tie with North Carolina State and East Tennessee State after shooting a 13-over 301 Monday.

NU, which is playing in its second event of the spring season, sits 21 shots behind leaders Georgia and Georgia Tech, tied at 3-over.

No. 1 Georgia, No. 3 Georgia Tech and No. 2 Clemson – which sits alone in third place at 4-over – are the top three teams on the leaderboard and also the top three squads in the nation, according to the latest MasterCard rankings. In addition, 10 of the nation’s top 25 teams are playing in Puerto Rico.

Senior Luke Donald – last year’s Puerto Rico Classic champion – and sophomore Scott Harrington have led the Cats thus far: Both are tied for 12th at 2-over. Donald, ranked seventh in the nation, followed up a first-round 76 with a 2-under 70 Monday. And Harrington shot a 75 Monday to go with a first-round 71.

Freshman Tom Johnson is the only other Cats golfer in the top 35. He’s tied for 34th at 6-over after shooting rounds of 73 and 77.

The field in Puerto Rico is even more competitive than last week’s at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship, in which the Cats finished 12th.

Three top-ranked players are vying for medalist honors after the second round. Clemson’s Lucas Glover, ranked sixth in the nation, is in first at 6-under, but he’s trailed closely by No. 1 Bryce Molder of Georgia Tech and No. 4 Ryan Hybl of Georgia, who are both tied at 2-under.