NCAA Golf Championships: Razorbacks move to 6th

Arkansas' Segundo Oliva Pinto won the individual title at the 2021 SEC Men's Golf Championships. (Photo courtesy Arkansas Athletics)

Segundo Oliva Pinto and Julian Perico shot even par 70s to lead the Arkansas Razorbacks to a team score of 6-over 286 on Saturday in the second round of the NCAA men’s golf championships at Scottsdale, Ariz.

The University of Arkansas is slotted in sixth place, a critical edge regarding re-pairings for tee times at Grayhawk Golf Club. The Razorbacks will go off in the morning half of the field by virtue of being in the top 15, meaning they’ll benefit from softer greens and less wind. The afternoon round, the bottom half of the 30-team field, is likely to find tougher scoring conditions as they have the first two days on the Raptor Course.

The field will be cut to the top 15 teams after today’s round, then pared to eight after Monday’s round and seeded for match play.

The Razorbacks were in 14th place after Friday’s opening round.

No. 1 Oklahoma shot 5 under in the morning round Saturday and leads the field at 2 over through 36 holes. No. 3 Vanderbilt is two strokes back at 4 over, and No. 2 Oklahoma State, which carded a 3 under Saturday, is two more shots back at 6 over.

The Razorbacks, teeing off on No. 1 with Georgia and Wake Forest, played the front nine in 2-under, spearheaded by Perico’s 3 under and even par nines from Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira and Wil Gibson.

Arkansas fell back a little on the back nine, but Pinto birdied No. 14 to balance out a bogey on No. 5. He posted 16 pars.

“We got off to a great start,” Arkansas Coach Brad McMakin said. “We were fortunate to be in the morning round. We had a couple of mistakes on the back nine, but all in all I was very happy with the round.

“I think it’s going to play really tough this afternoon. Hopefully we’ll be above the cut line and in the top 15 going into tomorrow.”

Pinto is tied for ninth place at 1 over for the tournament, while Fernandez de Oliveira is tied for 14th at 2 over, and Perico is tied for 28th at 4 over. Pinto leads the field with 29 pars.

Gibson shot a 5 over for the Razorbacks’ final counting score, while senior Luke Long capped a rough day with a double bogey on 18 for 9 over.

“I tell you what, Segundo is Mr. Postseason, so I’m not surprised,” McMakin said. “Both [Pinto and Perico] played really good today and Mateo was solid as a rock. If we can get a good counting score over the next two days, I think we can make the eight.”