LECANTO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) — The format for the American Athletic Conference Men’s Golf Championship was changed prior to the beginning of Sunday’s action. With inclement weather expected Tuesday, teams played two rounds Sunday and the championship will be decided Monday at the Quarry Course at Black Diamond Ranch.
Those changes bore no ill effect on the Knights, especially senior Linus Vaisanen. In both the individual medalist race and the race for the team crown, the Knights are in second place heading into Monday’s third and final round.
Vaisanen led the tournament for much of the second round Sunday. The native of Finland put together a first-round score of 70 (-2), to sit just three strokes back and tied for fifth. But Vaisanen was red hot in the second round. He birdied six holes in the second round — including a stretch of four straight from Nos. 8-11 — to rocket into the lead. He ended his round with a bogey, but still posted an impressive 68 (-4), which left him in second place as his round ended.
Teammate Federico Zucchetti started strong and finished well enough to remain within sight of the leaders, as well. The Italian sophomore fired a first-round 69 (-3), despite a bogey on his final hole of the round. In the second round, he was 1-over. But that left him at 2-under and easily in the Top 10 when he reached the clubhouse.
Freshman Manuel Elvira is at even par for the tournament. He opened with a 2-over 74, but rebounded to shoot a 2-under 70 in the second round.
Senior Jose Joia turned in a first-round 76 to round out the scoring for UCF in the first round. But he struggled to a 79 in the second round. Sophomore Ryan Stovash had a rough start with a 79. But his second-round 73 helped keep the Knights in second place heading into Monday’s action.
As a team, UCF is 3-under for the first two rounds. The Knights spent much of Sunday in second place and will enter the final round in that position, as well. In fact, the Knights were one of two teams to be at or below par in each of Sunday’s two rounds. UCF turned in scores of 285 and 288 (-3) and 288 (E). But the Knights will need a big day Monday to catch South Florida. The Bulls hold a 16-stroke lead after two rounds, after carding a 13-under second round.
Monday’s final round gets under way at 8 a.m. ET. Live scoring is available by clicking here.