Mark Goetz keeps rewriting the record books for West Virginia golf — even as each stroke becomes more valuable.
Goetz penned a 6-under 66 in his second round at the NCAA Regional at The Sagamore Club in Noblesville, Indiana to position himself as the low individual competitor by a stroke. This is an important round for Goetz on “moving day” — the so-called penultimate day in which competitors jockey for favorable leaderboard position — as he now sits at 4-under-par for the event after jumping 29 spots in the overall leaderboard to sit at T-4.
His 66 is the lowest round ever shot by a Mountaineer in the NCAA Tournament and tied the lowest round of the regional with Arkansas State’s Zan Luka Stirn.
Goetz started the round 2-over for the tournament, but quickly wiped those strokes away with an eagle on the Par 5 second hole. Goetz took the length of the 538-yard monster straight on, putting his ball inside 10 feet of the pin and sinking the eagle putt.
The Mountaineer kept his form high over the next two holes, logging birdies on Nos. 3 and 5, with an impressive par save on No. 4.
The first bogey on his scorecard came on the Par 3 eighth, but he was able to keep his score under par as he made the turn.
The back nine didn’t give Goetz nearly as much trouble as it did in the first round. He wrapped up the second nine with a 3-under 33 in round two, just a day after he notched a 40 in round one.
Goetz terrorized The Sagamore’s Par 5s on Tuesday, shooting a combined 5-under on all four. On the 578-yard 14th hole, he made a challenging chip-in from the fringe to score his second eagle of the round. He also finished the round with a birdie on the track’s iconic No. 18.
That last-hole birdie was crucial for the Greensburg, Pennsylvania native. Goetz was competing — either knowingly or unknowingly — with Purdue’s Cole Bradley for the top individual spot, who teed off in the group directly behind the Mountaineer. Bradley entered round two at even par, and led the individual competitors for much of the round with a 4-under front nine.
Bradley took a tumble in the homestretch of the back nine, finishing with two bogeys in the last four holes to finish at 3-under for both the day and the tournament. Fellow Boilermaker Joe Weiler is just behind Bradley at 2-under for the event after shooting an even-par 72 in the second round, while Missouri’s Ross Steelman is the only other individual competitor under par at 1-under for the event.
In order to advance to the finals, Goetz must finish as the low man among the 10 individuals not on an advancing team. The advancing golfer will join the other five low individuals not on an advancing team from the other regional sites to compete at the NCAA Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona later this May.
As far as the team competition is concerned, Texas leads the way at 15-under, seven strokes ahead of Tennessee at 8-under. Of the 12 teams competing in the regional, the top six will be invited to Grayhawk.
Goetz tees his final round of the regional off at 10:04 a.m. on Wednesday.