The University of Colorado golf team's quest to reach the NCAA Championship Finals took a big hit Tuesday during a tough second round at the NCAA Southeast/Tuscaloosa Regional.

The CU men shot the third-highest score in the field in slipping into a tie for eighth place after two rounds. CU's top player, junior Jeremy Paul, shot a 5-over 77, falling from a share of the individual lead to a tie for 14th.

"Tough day today," CU head coach Roy Edwards. "Not much else to really say. But this team doesn't quit and with our best tomorrow, we are still not out of it as there are only a few teams above us. We need to focus on the final round and not dwell on today's."

As a team, the Buffaloes shot an 18-over 306 for the round, which added up to a 26-over 602 through 36 holes. The top five teams and top individual not on those teams will advance to the NCAA Finals later this month. Auburn currently occupies the final team spot with a 584 score, 18 shots ahead of CU.

No. 5 Georgia maintained its lead at 10-under 566, with No.17 South Carolina second at 569 (-7) and No. 32 Kentucky remaining in third at 575 (-1).

Colorado has come from far behind before, and in fact owns the second-largest comeback in regional history. In 1999, when there were just three regionals with 27 teams competing in each, the Buffaloes made up nine strokes in leaping from an 18th-place into a tie for 10th and then defeating Kent State on the first playoff hole to advance to the NCAA Finals.


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Paul recorded his highest round of the year on the 7,512-yard, par-72 Ol' Colony Golf Course and finished at 1-over 145 for two rounds. He made just his third double bogey in 20 rounds this spring.

Paul does remain in the hunt to advance individually if the Buffs can't rally as a team. There are only three players ahead of him through two rounds who are not presently on teams in the top five, with the best of those three at 3-under; thus he is four strokes back in that race.

Junior Ethan Freeman shot CU's best score of the day — a 2-over 74 — that has him in at 5-over 149 through 36 holes, tying him for 32nd.

Senior Philip Juel-Berg struggled to an 8-over 80, giving him a 10-over 154 that had him tied for 50th. Sophomore John Souza rallied from an opening round 80 to record a 3-over 75, with his 11-over 155 total placing him a tie for 53rd.

Wilson Belk, one of 13 freshmen in the field, is tied for 71st after an 83 pushed him to an 18-over 162 total.

"Ethan and John had solid rounds but we weren't able to get much going," Edwards said. "It was a very uncharacteristic round for Jeremy."

Three players are tied for the individual lead: Greyson Sigg and Zach Healy from Georgia for the second straight day, and Kentucky's Tyler McDaniel. They are at 5-under 139 through 36 holes.

Colorado will be paired with Lipscomb and UNLV for the final round Wednesday, with tee times starting at 6:30 a.m. MDT off the No. 10 tee.

Southeast Regional

TEAM SCORES

1. Georgia................................... 284-282—566

2. South Carolina....................... 287-282—569

3. Kentucky................................ 288-287—575

4. Alabama................................. 292-284—576

5. Auburn................................... 294-290—584

6. Charleston.............................. 298-295—593

6. UNLV...................................... 290-303—593

8. Colorado................................. 296-306—602

8. Lipscomb............................... 302-300—602

10. Kansas................................... 308-301—609

11. Harvard.................................. 323-298—621

12. Southern Illinois.................... 314-308—622

13. Charleston Southern............ 315-310—625

CU INDIVIDUALS

T14. Jeremy Paul................................. 68-77—145

T32. Ethan Freeman........................... 75-74—149

T50. Philip Juel-Berg........................... 74-80—154

T53. John Souza................................... 80-75—155

T71. Wilson Belk................................. 79-83—162

TOP FIVE INDIVIDUALS

T1. Tyler McDaniel, Kentucky............. 72-67—139

T1. Greyson Sigg, Georgia.................. 68-71—139

T1. Zach Healy, Georgia...................... 68-71—139

4. Matthew NeSmith, South Carolina 70-70—140

T5. Four tied...................................................... 141