As they say on the PGA Tour, Thursday is Moving Day and that's the challenge facing Eastern Florida's men's golf team in the third round of the NJCAA Men's Division I Tournament.
The Titans, ranked third in the nation, carded a 290 on Wednesday, six strokes better than the 296 they shot Tuesday. But they failed to make up significant ground, finishing the day tied for 11th at 586.
McLennan Community College, of Texas, and Western Texas College lead at 567.
Kerry Sweeney shot 69 for the Titans on Wednesday; Brad Bawden 72; Tyler Bennett carded a 73; Michael Keymont 76; Corey Herman, 76.
Sweeney is tied for seventh at 140; Bawden is tied for 33rd at 146; Bennett is tied for 54th at 149; Keymont is tied for 68th at 151; and Herman is tied for 98th at 161. The top four player totals count toward a team's overall score.
Odessa College's Augustin Hole the individual medalist standings at 135.
"Midland played well today, Indian Hills played well today," said Eastern Florida head coach Jamie Howell. "At the top level these are good teams and you can't give them any inches.
"Yesterday when we got done we said 'we've got three rounds to play.' We get done today there's two more rounds to play. The good news is we got all of our golf in today. So far the weather's cooperating," Howell added amid the sunny but breezy conditions at 1 p.m.
"A lot of golf to be played. That's the good news, there's a lot of golf to be played. We know the course as well as anybody and we have to start acting like that."
The Titans finished the second 18-hole round much more efficiently than Monday when they struggled.
"Heck yes, it was nice to finish better today," Howell said. "By all means. That's been an issue for us all year long. Kerry birdied the last hole. Brad made a nice par there. I think Michael Keymont might have made birdie there as well. It was much better."
As for Sweeney: "He's been playing well for a while," Howell said. "The scores may not indicate that every time but he's been playing well. As the putts start going in we'll see more numbers with sixes starting his scores."
Thursday's pairings will be determined by where teams finish in Wednesday's second round. Players will still compete in threesomes with teams nearest in the standings with the lower-ranked teams teeing off earlier. The Titans tee off beginning at 10:10 a.m.
"We just have to be sharper," Howell concluded, looking ahead to the final two rounds. "We're not very sharp. Too many short irons leaving us long putts for birdie. Not getting them up and down when we need to. Just little piddly things that add up. At the top level you just can't give that away.
"Tomorrow's moving day. We need to make a move. If we can get out there and shoot a real good number early, most of the coaches are looking at live scoring all the time and relating that to their players.
"I don't do a lot of that. I'd rather them whispering to one another 'hey look at what Eastern's doing.' That might be our theme for tomorrow."
Play at Duran continues through Friday. Spectators are welcome. Live webcast coverage from holes nine and 18 can be viewed at www.efsctitans.com/golf-webcast
Live scoring is available at www.golfstat.com/home.html
The tournament field is: Eastern Florida; Wallace State, Alabama; Darton State, Georgia; Faulkner State, Alabama; Central Alabama; Indian Hills, Iowa; Iowa Western; Dodge City, Kansas; Hutchinson, Kansas; Garden City Community College, Kansas; Midland College, Texas; Odessa, Texas; McLennan, Texas; Western Texas; Ranger, Texas; Pima, Arizona; Eastern Arizona; Scottsdale, Arizona; Eastern Wyoming; McCook, Nebraska; Spartanburg Methodist College, South Carolina.
Individual competitors are Greyson Benavides, Paris, Texas and Chase Brown, Cape Fear, North Carolina.
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