SALEM, S.C. (arkansasrazorbacks.com) – For the first time in school history, all five Razorbacks shot under par at an NCAA Regional as sixth-seeded and 35th-ranked Arkansas posted a 17-under-par round of 271 at the 2023 NCAA Salem Regional to extend its lead to seven strokes after 36 holes with a two-day total of 537 (-39).
“I am really proud of the team the last two days,” head coach Brad McMakin said. “We’ve had some really good individual performances throughout the year, but this is obviously the best we have played as a team this year. It is tough to back up a record-setting performance on one day with a nearly impressive round the next time out. While our team score was a little lower, it was really remarkable to have all five guys shoot under par. Julian (Perico) got us off to a great start and it fed throughout the team all the way to Segundo (Oliva Pinto).”
No. 11 Georgia Tech matched Arkansas’ first-round score of 22-under-par round on Tuesday and moved up three places to second with a 36-hole total of 544 (-32). Top seed and #2 North Carolina and #47 New Mexico are tied for third at -25 (551). Northern Illinois holds the coveted fifth spot with a score of 553 (-23), leading #26 Georgia Southern by five strokes and host Clemson by seven. The top five after Wednesday’s final 18 holes will advance to the NCAA Championship.
After a record-setting day Monday, the Razorbacks continued to set standards on Tuesday as their 36-hole score of 537 and its score in relation to par (-39) are both school records. In fact, the school record for 54 holes is -38 and the school record for the best 54-hole score (824) is well within reach.
Individually, Oliva Pinto has set a school record for the best 36-hole score in relation to par at -12 while his total of 132 ties for the fifth-best. His start of 65-67 is the best opening rounds by a Razorback in a Regional.
On Tuesday, Oliva Pinto turned in a bogey-free round of 67 (-5) to move up one spot into a tie for second. The fifth-year senior either led out-right or shared the lead throughout the day with current leader and playing partner Ryan Burnett. In fact, the pair were tied for the lead going into the last hole before Burnett birdied and Oliva Pinto had a par.
Perico also carded a second-round 67 and was the big mover on Tuesday as he climbed 27th spots into a tie for 32nd (75-67=142 / -2). Like Manuel Lozada in round one, Perico was first off the tee for the Razorbacks and he set the tone early with birdies on holes 1 and 2 with a total of four birdies over his first seven. He fell back to -3 going bogey, birdie, bogey on holes 8-10 but ran off five pars before getting birdies on holes 16 and 18 to close out his 67 (-5).
Wil Gibson is fifth (65-69=134 / -10) with a 3-under 69 on Tuesday. He was even through 11 holes with two bogeys and two birdies before going birdie, birdie, birdie to end his round. Manuel Lozada also finished the day with birdies on holes 16, 17 and 18 to shoot a 1-under 71 and stand in a tie for 13th (138 / -6).
Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira climbed 14 spots into a tie for eighth (69-68=137 / -7). After four pars to start the day, he caught fire with six-straight birdies. He played his final eight holes at +2 to settle for his 4-under-par 68.
2023 NCAA Salem Regional
The Cliffs at Keowee Falls || Salem, S.C.
7,126 yards || Par 72
1 #35 Arkansas 266-271=537 / -39
2 #11 Georgia Tech 278-266=544 / -32
T3 #47 New Mexico 272-279=551 / -25
T3 #2 North Carolina 273-278=551 / -25
5 Northern Illinois 275-278=553 / -23
6 #26 Georgia Southern 279-279=558 / -18
7 Clemson 282-278=560 / -16
T8 #14 Texas A&M 281-283=564 / -12
T8 #23 San Diego State 284-280=564 / -12
10 Furman 283-288=571 / -5
11 Middle Tennessee 283-291=574 / -2
12 #38 Purdue 283-296=579 / +3
13 Longwood 284-302=586 / +10
14 Long Island 308-292=600 / +24