Shaw, Davies fire season bests; Bucs currently fifth at NCAA West Region

Friday, May 19, 2006

            TUCSON, Ariz. (May 19, 2006) - Posting their lowest single round scores of the 2005-06 season, junior Rhys Davies (Bridgend, Wales) fired a 6-under-par 66 and sophomore Gareth Shaw (Lisburn, Northern Ireland) posted a five-under 67 to move into a tie for third place on the individual leaderboard and help the ETSU men's golf team to a fifth-place standing Friday during second round play in the NCAA West Regional at the Omni Tucson National Golf Course.


            Davies and Shaw both stand at 8-under for the event, just two strokes back of individual leader Dustin Pimm of Utah. More importantly, the Buccaneers are 12-under as a team and are currently positioned well to garner a NCAA Championship berth with a Top 10 finish at the conclusion of Saturday's final round action. Arizona leads the team competition at 24-under, followed by second place North Carolina State and Florida, which have both posted scores of 21-under.


            "Where you stand is not as important as how many strokes you are from 11th place," said ETSU head coach Fred Warren, pointing out that 13 teams are currently 6-under or better heading into Saturday's play. "We are pleased with where we are right now. Both Rhys and Gareth played very solid today. The other guys struggled some, but they can still help us tomorrow with a good round."


            Just as they did in the first round, the Bucs came out strong during their morning round, with four of the team's five players at least posting one birdie in the first two holes. In fact, Davies began the day with a chip-in eagle on the second hole and a birdie on the third. In all, he would chip or pitch in a shot three times during the round - including another eagle on No. 8.


            "Chipping is usually a strong part of my game, but I don't remember having one of those all semester," Davies said, referring to his made shots from off the green. "I guess I got them all at once today."


            While Davies and Shaw are powering the Bucs' efforts, the rest of the team has battled through two tough days. Currently, sophomore Cian McNamara (Limerick, Ireland) is the next closest Buccaneer player on the leaderboard and is tied for 68th at 1-over. Meanwhile, freshmen Adam Hodkinson (Dore, England) and Jordan Findlay (Fraserburgh, Scotland) are at 4-over and 9-over, respectively.


            "We really can't complain with where we are right now," Davies said. "To finish in the Top 10 we feel like we're in good shape. It would be great to get to nationals, but we have a long way to go yet. There's no use complicating things, we just need to go out tomorrow and play to our abilities."


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