SUGAR GROVE, Ill. (Seminoles.com) – From start to finish, redshirt junior Harry Ellis seized nearly every opportunity in the second round of the NCAA Championships held at Rich Harvest Farms on Saturday. His 6-under 66 leaves him tied for sixth overall while Florida State Men’s Golf is 11th at 2-under.
Ellis’ performance is very significant: His 66 on Saturday is the lowest round vs. par recorded by a Seminole in an NCAA Final. He is tied for sixth individually amongst the 156-player field, with his 6-under overall score behind the lowest 36-hole total vs. par in an NCAA Final as well.
Ellis’ 66 tied UCF’s Kyler Tate for the low round of the day and also ties Ole Miss’ Braden Thornberry for the low round of the Championships.
“To compete at this level against these guys, you’re going to have to have a guy that matches the other team’s top guy,” FSU head coach Trey Jones said. “Harry Ellis is becoming our guy. He did it at the regionals, he did it at the ACC Championship. He’s playing as well as any guy in the country and I wouldn’t trade him for anybody right now.”
The All-ACC Team selection recorded five birdies in addition to an eagle on the par-5 18th hole. On that hole, a sharp drive down the left side of the fairway left him 203 yards from the pin. His second shot with a 5-iron positioned him about 15 feet from the hole downhill. His accurate read resulted in a putt to the dead center of the cup.
The assertiveness of Ellis, redshirt senior Cristobal Del Solar and sophomore Corey Carlson over the final six holes was big for the Seminoles. Ellis holed in three straight birdies on holes 5-7 (FSU started on the back nine), while Del Solar posted a birdie on the par-4 eighth hole. Carlson took advantage of the seventh hole that was a par-5, 562 yarder.
“One thing about going out in the second wave is when you have the Top 15 seeds in the country go out and jump all over the golf course, the players say ‘Oh my God what do we have to do?’ Jones said. “We had to have a little patience talk with them knowing it was out there, but you still have to execute. This is a big-boy golf course where you’re not going to just make some free birdies.”
Del Solar had another productive showing by recording a 2-under 70, and he is tied for 19th at 3-under overall. Through his first two rounds, the Chile native and U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying entrant has totaled just two bogeys to his five birdies.
Carlson is tied for 50th with an even par score, shooting 1-over on Saturday. He shot a 37 on the back nine where he started off, but improved by one stroke with a front-nine showing at 36. He added two birdies and bounced back nicely from a double bogey on the 17th hole, his ninth hole of the day.
Ellis (tied for sixth), Del Solar (tied for 19th) and Carlson (tied for 50th) are all in the Top 50 individually.
UNLV leads the field at 14-under. The rest of the Top 10 includes Oklahoma (-13), Illinois (-11), Auburn and Vanderbilt (-10 each), Southern California (-9), LSU and Baylor (-8 each), Oklahoma State (-7) and Virginia (-5).
Sophomore Bennett Baker (+8) is tied for 124th while senior Josh Lee (+10) is tied for 139th.
“We’ve got to keep getting better,” Jones added. “These are guys that have to feel better about the golf course, better about themselves tomorrow morning than they did this morning. If that happens, we’ll be fine.”
Sunday’s stroke play round is of great importance. The Seminoles must finish within the Top 15 in order to play the final stroke play round on Monday, with the goal then being to finish in the Top eight and advance to match play. Sunday’s round will once again be shown on golfstat.com and Monday’s possible round will switch to coverage by the Golf Channel.
Florida State tees off on Sunday morning at 8:40 a.m. ET/7:40 a.m. CT.
Del Solar, Ellis Earn All-Region Honors
Cristobal Del Solar and Harry Ellis each were named to the Division I PING All-Southeast Region Team, announced on Saturday evening by the Golf Coaches Association of America.
Del Solar garners her second selection to the all-region team, while Ellis lands a spot for the first time. Both student-athletes have been the consistent leaders for Florida State Men’s Golf all season, with Del Solar leading the team in scoring average while Ellis serves as the team captain.
Both student-athletes also were named to the 15-member All-ACC Team earlier this month.