April 7, 2014 10:05:43 PM
Matthew Stevens - [email protected]
WEST POINT -- Chad Ramey's two rounds seemed to symbolize the entire Mississippi State men's golf team in the first day of their own tournament.
Ramey, a MSU senior who was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Week on March 18, rebounded from a disappointing finish to his first round to get himself back in a Top 15 scenario individually at the second annual Old Waverly Collegiate Championship, which began Monday.
The two-day event ends with the completion of the second round a final round today.
"I finally got to hitting the golf ball more like I should be and even though I still left some putts out there, I was really pleased to have a bogey-free second round going so far," Ramey said. "It just felt a lot better and I played the back nine so much better the second time around."
By having Ramey walk off the course sporting a 2-under-par round through 15 holes in the second round, Mississippi State was able to rocket back up the leaderboard into tied for fourth with Florida in the team standings of the 15-school field. With Ramey's second round comeback, the defending champion Bulldogs found themselves down 12 strokes to the first round leader Cincinnati and tied for 10th after 18 holes of play.
"It's really not like we played horribly but we just didn't make hardly any birdies and then we weren't sharp at all around the greens," MSU coach Clay Homan said.
The overall team scoring took a drastic turn of events when Cincinnati's Baxter Reeves was disqualified after he signed an incorrect scorecard after his three-under-par 69 in the first round. Reeves totaled a 70 on his scorecard but actually wrote down a five instead of a six on the par-5 16th hole. Reeves even put a box, the common signal for a bogey, around the five on his scorecard but rules dictated he be immediately disqualified from the first round. After the development, South Alabama took an immediate three-stroke lead with a 2-under-par 286. Ole Miss rallied in the second round as the Rebels were 4-under-par in the second round at the completion of play Monday. The Rebels will sleep on an overnight lead of four strokes.
Troy sophomore Phillip Brennan leads the individual medalist race at 5-under-par through 35 completed holes Monday. Brennan had nine birdies throughout the day including a stretch of five of eight in first round.
Second round play will resume at 8:30 a.m. and the third round will immediately follow the conclusion of second round play.
The MSU player that is currently the highest on the individual leaderboard is senior Barrett Edens as the Amory High School graduate is tied for 11th at 1-under-par. He'll need to finish up one hole on his second round before starting his final 18 holes of play.
"We're relying on our seniors who have played a lot of golf that know what it takes," Homan said. "I'm really confident our seniors will play fine tomorrow and put ourselves in a opportunity for something special to happen."
The wet conditions at Old Waverly Country Club following two days of non-stop rain called for the start to be pushed back two hours and leaving players with holes left to compete in the second round this morning. With no roll in the fairway, the course played much longer than the listed 7,088 yards and a early 15-mile-per-hour wind made scores skyrocket. The course played at a 74.26 scoring average and forced 77 scores of double bogey or worse.
"It is playing a lot longer but it really goes hand and hand because the greens being so soft allowed for approach shots to be more receptive," Ramey said. "The only thing that was different in my second round was my misses were just so much better."
Ramey was tied for the individual lead after the turn in the first round as he birdied No. 6, 8 and 9 on the way to a front-nine 34. However, a double bogey on the 173-yard, par-3 12th hole, the momentum was gone from his uplifting round. Two more bogeys later and Ramey was starting his second round after a 2-over-par 74 and found himself six shots behind first round leader Lawrence Allan of Southeastern Louisiana.
MSU also got a solid effort from Axel Boasson as the Iceland native rallied to conclude the day in the Top 20 of the 78-player field. Boasson finished his second round before the final horn sounded with a 2-under-par 70 to finish the day at even par and just five shots behind the leader.
"We talked to all the guys about an attitude of just 'go play' because you've played this course a million times and you know how it plays," Homan said. "There's always a little extra pressure playing at home but hopefully everybody will settle down earlier in the day and get into a rhythm."
Follow Matt Stevens on Twitter @matthewcstevens.