Atlanta, Ga. (WVLT/SUBMITTED) -- Led by senior Rick Lamb's 3-under par 67, Tennessee rebounded nicely on Wednesday to shoot a 3-under par 277 and move up the standings at the NCAA Championship.
The Vols finished the second round at the Capital City Club Crabapple Course in a tie for 11th place and have a two day total of 286-277--563 (+3). Thursday's final third round will make for some nail biting entertaining as the Top-8 teams make the championship cut. Those eight teams will advance to a Match Play to determine the NCAA Champion.
"Rick and I played well today to put the Vols back in contention. If we another round tomorrow like we had today, we have a good chance of making the Match Play," freshman Oliver Goss said. "I believe in the guys. We are a group of fighters and we will do anything we can to do so."
Lamb's consistent play has been a big reason for the Vols' comeback. Lamb got off to a hot start by hitting three birdies in his first five holes.
"That pin was in a pretty accessible spot today, more so than yesterday. We figured we could attack it pretty easy. I had a gap wedge in my hands and it was pretty much a green light, so I hit it about four or five feet and then putt," Lamb said. "It definitely helps (my confidence) a lot. It gets rid of those first-tee jitters. I did the same thing yesterday. I birdied the first hole and got into a good groove and feeling good."
After two rounds of play, Lamb sits two strokes behind individual leader Jon Rahm. On Tuesday, Arizona State's Rahm set a single round course record of 61 (-9). Lamb currently is tied for fourth with a two day total of 68-67--135 (-5). Those are Lamb's best numbers since he won back-to-back tournaments in November.
Goss, a recent PING All-Region honoree, stepped up his game to knock down five second round birdies to finish with a 66 (-4). Overall, Goss elevated his game to move from 49th place to a tie for 16th after totaling a 71-66--137 (-3).
"Going in today, I wanted to play so well so badly and for the first couple of holes I was trying too hard and made some mistakes early," Goss said. "Then, I calmed down and played my own game and ended up shooting a good score."
Lamb and Goss were not the only Volunteers to elevate their game on Wednesday. Head coach Jim Kelson saw senior Jay Vandeventer card a 71 (+1), freshman Michael Nagy shot a 73 (+3), and junior Brandon Rodgers finished with a 74 (+4).
Georgia Tech (host) stayed consistent through two days and has emerged to lead the NCAA Championship. The Yellow Jackets carded 274-274--548 (-12) to take a one stroke lead over No. 1 seed California.
On Thursday, Kelson will need one final push from his Tennessee five. The Vols will start their third round bright and early at 7:50 a.m. ET from the 10th tee box. Tennessee will once again be paired with UCF and Arizona State.
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