Boulder City, Nev. -- For the second-consecutive day, junior Jeremy Kirk paced North Dakota in round two of the 2018 Big Sky Championship at the Boulder Creek Golf Club. This time, Kirk shot a one-under 35 on the back nine to help him get a stroke back after opening with a 40 on the front side.
Kirk, who made all of his team-high three birdies on the back side, finished with a 75 (+3) got some help from his teammates on Saturday as the Fighting Hawks improved their team score by eight strokes, finishing with a 309 (+21).
Junior Jordan Smith was eight strokes better in his second round, carding a 76 (+4) that included one of just three eagles that been made in the opening 36 holes of the Championship. Kirk is currently tied for 18th with his two-round total of 149 (+5).
"Collectively, I thought we played much better and came out of the gate firing," UND head coach Matt Stricker said. "The finish was tough though because of the winds, but overall I'm pleased with the improvement."
Senior captain Jack McClintock was three strokes better and is second among the Fighting Hawks in a tie for 32nd (157; +13). Smith and sophomore Patrick Traynor are tied for 35th with 36-hole totals of 160 (+16). Junior Ryan Riihinen was 16 strokes better in his second round, opening with a 37 (+1) on the front side before finishing at 81 (+9).
UND did not make any movement up the team leaderboard and remained in eighth place with a 625 total (+49). Northern Colorado took over first place from Southern Utah and will take a five-shot lead into Sunday's final round after shooting a tournament-best 284 (-4). The Bears are sitting at 570 (-6), while the Thunderbirds are at 575 (-1).
Andrew Romano led that charge and took over the race for medalist honors with a 67 (-5) and his 137 (-7) is three strokes better than a pair of T-birds. Fidel Concepcion and Jake Vincent are both at 140 (-4) after two rounds. Weber State's Boston Watts shot the low round of the day with a 66 (-6) and is in fourth place (141; -3).
The tournament concludes with third-round action on Sunday.
2018 Big Sky Championship (Second Round Results)
|1.||Northern Colorado||286-284 = 570 (-6)|
|2.||Southern Utah||285-290 = 575 (-1)|
|3.||Weber State||295-290 = 585 (+9)|
|4.||Sacramento State||297-294 = 591 (+15)|
|5.||Idaho||299-294 = 593 (+17)|
|6.||Binghamton||309-297 = 606 (+30)|
|7.||Hartford||303-305 = 608 (+32)|
|8.||North Dakota||317-309 = 626 (+50)|
UND Individuals (Second Round Results)
|t13.||Jeremy Kirk||74-74 = 148 (+4)|
|t33.||Jack McClintock||80-77 = 157 (+13)|
|35.||Jordan Smith||84-76 = 160 (+16)|
|37.||Patrick Traynor||79-81 = 160 (+16)|
|40.||Ryan Riihinen||97-81 = 178 (+34)|
-- UND --