May 16, 2008
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. ----- UAB junior Zach Sucher birdied seven of his last nine holes as he scorched the Council Fire Golf Club course with a final nine score of 28 en route to a new school and course record nine-under par 62 during Friday's second round of the 2008 NCAA East Regional.
As a result, the Blazers, who finished their second round at 10-under par, vaulted from a tie for 20th following day one into a tie for sixth overall with a two-round total of seven-under par 561 (287-274). The top 10 teams from this regional will advance to the NCAA National Championship, scheduled for May 28-31 at the Birck Golf Complex in West Lafayette, Ind.
Sucher's score also was the second-best score ever recorded for a single round at an NCAA Championship event. Sucher tied Stanford's Notah Begay (1994) for the second-best round. Duke's Michael Schachner broke the record last year with a third-round 60 at the NCAA Championship at Williamsburg, Va.
Sucher, who currently holds a two-shot lead over Georgia's Hudson Swafford in the individual standings with an 11-under par 131 (69-62), finished the front nine at two-under par following his only bogey of the day on the par 4 ninth hole.
Following that hole, the Mobile, Ala. native turned his game up a notch. He began the back nine by recording five consecutive birdies. Following a par on the 15th hole, Sucher reeled off two more birdies before ending his round with a par on the 499-yard par-4 18th hole.
Not only did Sucher record the best round of his career, but his 62 also tied the single-round school record (set by Garrett Osborn at the 2005 Jerry Pate Intercollegiate). He also matched the course record in a competitive tournament, set by PGA pro Ed Dougherty who shot a 62 during the second round of the 1992 Chattanooga Classic.
"Obviously, I felt really good out there," Sucher said. "I kept telling myself to keep it going. I had no idea about any records or anything like that, but I knew I was playing really well. My irons were terrific today and I felt like I could hit the ball wherever I wanted to."
Senior Brad Smith recorded a one-under par 70 on Friday and is in a tie for 53rd overall at one-over par 143. After carding a one-over on the front nine, the Adelaide, Australia native had two birdies and no bogeys on the back nine to finish below par for the first time in the event.
UAB head coach Alan Kaufman was pleased that his team stepped up its play from Thursday's first round.
"This is exactly the type of round we needed as a team," UAB head coach Alan Kaufman said. "Zach was simply unbelievable. As a team, I thought we were solid from top to bottom and it certainly helps you when you have a player who is capable of posting low numbers like Zach can. We have put ourselves in terrific shape, but there is still a lot of golf left to be played."
The Blazers will tee off Saturday's third and final round at 7:18 a.m. ET. Live action can be followed by logging onto golfstat.com.