MONROE, N.C. - - A pair of Wildcats are within striking distance after two rounds at the J. Ralph Hargett Invitational as the Wilmington University golf team is seventh overall after Monday's rounds at the Stonebridge Golf Club.
The Wildcats improved by 12 strokes in the second round, shooting rounds of 308-296 for a 604 (+28). Host Wingate leads the tournament with scores of 287-282 for a 569 (-7).
Junior Enrique Valverde and senior Matthew Kettleson are within striking distance of the top of the leaderboard heading into the final round, with Valverde in a tie for second and one stroke back and Kettleson in a tie for eighth overall and four strokes back of the lead.
Valverde did his damage on the par five holes, finishing the two rounds at five-under par (4.38 average) on the eight total par fives. He was also tied for seventh overall with finishing +1 on the par four holes, averaging 4.05 strokes per par four on the day. He finished with eight birdies and 23 pars, shooting a 71-70 for a 141 (-3).
Kettleson shot even par 72-72 for a 144 (E) on the day, leading the team and in a tie for second overall at one-under par (2.88 average) on the eight total par threes. He was also one-under par of the par five rounds, hitting seven birdies and 22 pars on the day. There are 10 golfers under par or even for the two rounds.
Braden McKay is in a tie for 38th overall after two rounds, shooting an 81 in round one and a 74 in round two for a 155 (+11). He was +4 on the par four holes on Monday and 22nd overall with 21 pars on the day.
Wingate's Yannick Koehnen leads the pack with a 140 (-4), shooting rounds of 71 and 69. Valverde is tied in second with Walters State CC's Chad Homan, who shot rounds identical to Valverde, 71-70, for a 141 (-3).
The shotgun start third round begins on Tuesday at 9:00 a.m.