SIMPSONVILLE, Ky. (MSU Athletics/WTVA) - Freshman Ford Clegg and junior Peng Pichaikool collected a combined five birdies on the first four holes of the University of Louisville Golf Club course on Tuesday.
Now 1-under par for the week, the two players sit tied for 11th at the NCAA Louisville Regional.
Clegg battled his way to a 2-under 69 in the second round, shooting as well as 4-under par through 15. Pichaikool started hot and carded four birdies through his first seven holes on his way to a 70. Pichaikool has yet to shoot over par at the par-71, 7,217-yard University of Louisville Golf Club through five rounds played there this season.
"Peng and Ford did a great job of giving us some under par rounds that we really needed," MSU men's golf coach Dusty Smith said.
As a team, MSU shot a 7-over 291, three strokes better than Monday's first round. Once again, the Bulldogs found success on holes one through nine but struggled on the back side of the course. State finished the day tied for 9th and 17-over par for the event.
"I thought we got off to the start that we needed to in order for us to make a move today," Smith said. "We made the turn and had all five guys in it. Unfortunately, we made too many little mistakes that ultimately cost us the round we needed. We need to own what happened today and grow from it."
Following Wednesday's final round, the best five teams and the best individual not on the five advancing teams will qualify for NCAA Championship play. MSU sits 14 strokes behind fifth place, while Clegg and Pichaikool have a five-shot gap between themselves and the projected individual qualifier.
State will begin round three play Wednesday at 7:55 a.m. CT from the 10th hole tee. Live results will be available via Golfstat.com.
"There will be no quit in this team," Smith said. "Tomorrow is a huge opportunity for us, and we look forward to the challenge."
Auburn remains the leader with an eight-stroke advantage, while Iowa State's Tripp Kinney sits atop the player leaderboard at 8-under par.
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MSU men's golf coach Dusty Smith:
"I thought we got off to the start that we needed to in order for us to make a move today. We made the turn and had all five guys in it. Unfortunately, we made too many little mistakes that ultimately cost us the round we needed. We need to own what happened today and grow from it. Peng and Ford did a great job of giving us some under par rounds that we really needed. There will be no quit in this team. Tomorrow is a huge opportunity for us, and we look forward to the challenge."
NCAA Louisville Regional
1. Auburn (276+277=553, -15)
2. Oklahoma State (278+283=561, -7)
3. Baylor (280+288=568, E)
4. Iowa State (288+282=570, +2)
5. Louisville (280+291=571 +3)
6. North Florida (292+285=577, +9)
7. Arizona (287+291=578, +10)
8. West Virginia (286+293=579, +11)
T9. Mississippi State (294+291=585, +17)
T9. Arkansas State (295+290=585, +17)
11. Southern Illinois (301+289=590, +22)
12. New Mexico (302+291=593, +25)
13. Jacksonville State (300+297=597, +29)
T11. Peng Pichaikool (71+70=141, -1)
T11. Ford Clegg (72+69=141, -1)
T48. Garrett Johnson (74+74=148, +6)
71. Austin Rose (77+78=155, +13)
T72. Ben Nelson (77+79=156, +14)