Eason, Gouveia Atop Leaderboard at NCAA Tempe Regional

GO KNIGHTS Ricardo Gouveia
Ricardo Gouveia

May 17, 2013

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By Andy Seeley

TEMPE, Ariz. (UCFAthletics.com) –Greg Eason came within one stroke of UCF history Friday at the NCAA Tempe Regional. The junior from Leicester City, England carded a 7-under score of 63 at Arizona State University’s Karsten Golf Course, which was one stroke off the Knights’ school record for a single-round.

Despite missing the school record, Eason moved to 12-under par for the tournament and soared into the individual lead with just one round left to play. UCF teammate Ricardo Gouveia also turned in a great round Friday and is currently tied for second place. Gouveia is -6 for the tournament after shooting a 4-under 66 in the second round.

The red-hot play of Eason and Gouveia led UCF up the team leaderboard as well. The Knights were tied for fourth at even par after Thursday’s first round. By the end of the day Friday, UCF was alone in second place at 8-under par. Kyle Wilshire is +4 for the tournament and tied for 44th place. Jose Joia is 6-over for the tournament and tied for 52nd. Michael Visacki is also taking part for the Knights. He is +14 and tied for 71st.

"We had 24 birdies among our four scores that counted,” UCF head coach Bryce Wallor said. “That's a lot of quality golf shots and good putts. We did a lot of good stuff today. We were fortunate that we went out at 7 a.m. with fresh greens and no wind. Conditions were perfect for about our first 12 holes. We were about as fortunate as we were good today.”

Eason was 9-under for the day going into his 18th hole of the day, No. 9 at the Karsten Golf Course. A par would secure a new school record and a score of 61, while a bogey would tie the record. Unfortunately, his tee shot wound up in the water on one of the toughest holes on the course and he scrambled to secure a double bogey. Despite the trouble on his final hole, Eason recorded five birdies in his first nine holes and four more after making the turn. Gouveia also had five birdies in the first nine holes of the day. He sandwiched a  bogey and a double bogey around two birdies after making the turn.

"We got out quick and made some birdies,” Wallor added. “The team knew we needed to shoot some good scores today. We were aggressive, the conditions were benign and we took advantage of our opportunities.”

No. 3-ranked UCLA leads the tournament at -19. No. 39 UCF is 8-under and alone in second place. The Knights are two strokes in front of No. 15 Georgia and five strokes ahead of No. 22 Texas A&M, both of the Southeastern Conference. No. 9 Duke and the host Arizona State Sun Devils are tied for fifth at -2. The top five teams at the conclusion of Saturday’s final round will advance to the NCAA Championships, slated for May 28-June 2 in Atlanta.

“We'll need to go out and do the same thing tomorrow to have a chance to make it (to the NCAA Championship round)," Wallor said.

--UCF Athletics—