Peterson Maintains Lead at SEC Golf; Tigers 6th

by Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
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Peterson Maintains Lead at SEC Golf; Tigers 6th

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – LSU senior All-American John Peterson took one step closer toward becoming the 2011 Southeastern Conference individual champion Saturday afternoon, as he fired a 1-over par 71 to take a one-shot lead into Sunday’s final round at the 2011 SEC Men’s Golf Championships held this weekend at the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club.

Peterson, a Ben Hogan Award candidate from Fort Worth, Texas, is the only competitor in the field under par through two rounds after following his 2-under 68 on Friday with a 1-over 71 on Saturday for his total of 1-under 139 through 36 holes of this year’s championship.

Peterson wrapped up the day with a slim one-shot lead over Florida’s Phillip Choi and Andres Echavarria, and South Carolina’s Wesley Bryan. The trio has posting matching scores of even-par 140 in two rounds.

The Tigers will tee off in Sunday’s final round looking to improve upon their sixth-place position with the team standings as they followed their 12-over 292 in the first round with an 11-over 291 in the second round for a two-day total of 23-over 583. Florida currently holds a six-shot advantage over Tennessee in a race for the team championship with a team score of 7-over 567.

Rounding out the top five of the team standings following Saturday’s events are Alabama in third place at 16-over 576 and both Georgia and Arkansas in a tie fourth place at 20-over 580.

Peterson has an opportunity to become LSU’s 19th individual medalist all-time at the SEC Championships and the first in 24 years since PGA Tour star David Toms during his sophomore season in 1987.

After teeing off from the back nine in the second round, Peterson made the turn at 1-under par for the day, as he holed back-to-back birdies on the par-three 17th and par-four 18th holes for a score of 34 on that side. He then carded two bogeys on the front nine at the par-four fourth and ninth holes en route to a 1-over par 71 on the afternoon and 1-under 139 through two rounds of the championship.

Peterson owns a career-best third-place finish at the SEC Championships after firing a 6-under par 210 for three rounds at nearby Frederica Golf Club during an All-America sophomore season in 2009.

By matching Peterson with a 1-over 71 in the second round, senior All-American Andrew Loupe has also put himself in position to earn a second-straight top-10 finish at the SEC Championships after finishing in a tie for fourth place en route to a First-Team All-SEC selection during his junior season last spring.

Loupe, who opened the event with a 3-over 73 in the first round, carded two birdies and three bogeys with his performance as he finished the second round of action in a tie for 14th place at 4-over 144 in 36 holes.

The Baton Rouge native finds himself just two shots out of the top 10 of the leaderboard as he trails a host of five golfers in a tie for sixth place at 2-over 142 for the championship. Loupe fired an SEC Tournament career best of 3-under par 207 to finish in a tie for fourth place at the Seaside Course a season ago.

Freshman Andrew Presley was the team’s No. 3 scorer on Saturday afternoon as his 4-over 74 moved him into a tie for 40th place on the leaderboard at 11-over 151 for the weekend.

Junior Sang You added a 5-over 75 for LSU’s team total as he finished the day in a tie for 34th place at the Seaside Course with a 36-hole score of 9-over 149. Senior Clayton Rotz posted an 8-over 78 on Saturday.

The Tigers are paired with Arkansas and Georgia on championship Sunday at the SEC Championships, as the teams tee off from the front nine beginning at 7 a.m. CDT. Live scoring of the third and final round on Sunday will be provided by Golfstat and can be found online at www.golfstat.com. A full tourney recap is also going to be available at the conclusion of the event at LSUsports.net.
 
2011 SEC MEN’S GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS – SECOND ROUND RESULTS

TEAM SCORES (Par 560)
1. Florida 285-282 – 567 +7; 2. Tennessee 286-287 – 573 +13; 3. Alabama 291-285 – 576 +16; T4. Georgia 292-288 – 580 +20; T4. Arkansas 286-294 – 580 +20; 6. LSU 292-291 – 583 +23; 7. Auburn 292-294 – 586 +26; 8. South Carolina 294-295 – 589 +29; 9. Kentucky 293-297 – 590 +30; 10. Ole Miss 303-291-594 +34; 11. Vanderbilt 299-308 – 607 +47; 12. Mississippi State 299-310 – 609 +49.

TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (Par 140)
1. John Peterson, LSU, 68-71 – 139 -1; T2. Wesley Bryan, South Carolina, 71-69 – 140 E; T2. Phillip Choi, Florida, 69-71 – 140 E; T2. Andres Echavarria, Florida, 70-70 – 140 E; 5. Robin Wingardh, Tennessee, 69-72 – 141 +1; T6. Danny Keddie, Tennessee, 71-71 – 142 +2; T6. Jamie Marshall, Arkansas, 70-72 – 142 +2; T6. Stephen Powers, Kentucky, 71-71 – 142 +2; T6. Bank Vongvanij, Florida, 72-70 – 142 +2; T6. Cory Whitsett, Alabama, 74-68 – 142 +2.

LSU
1. John Peterson, 68-71 – 139 -1
T14. Andrew Loupe, 73-71 – 144 +4
T34. Sang Yi, 74-75 – 149 +9
T40. Andrew Presley, 77-74 – 151 +11
T59. Clayton Rotz, 84-78 – 162 +22