The Ole Miss men’s golf team finished the second round of the SEC Championship 2-under par as a team, sitting at ninth place out of 14 teams.
The Rebels enter the third and final round of stroke play shooting 558 after a 275 on Wednesday and 283 on Thursday. The team is two shots behind current No. 8 seed No. 15 South Carolina. The Rebels have one more round of stroke play on Friday to claw into the match play rounds, which feature the top eight teams from stroke play.
Ole Miss got off to a good start in the first round on Wednesday, shooting a 5-under 275 to claim a third place spot in the standings. The Rebels sunk 19 birdies, the most from any team in the field.
“I think that was the best round of golf that I’ve seen our team have since I’ve been at Ole Miss,” head coach Chris Malloy said on Wednesday. “We’ve had rounds with lower scores, but considering our start and how we looked after a couple holes, to rally and do what they did is incredible. Really, I thought they turned into that tougher side, and the scores they shot were phenomenal.”
Freshman Jack Gnam had one of his best rounds in his SEC Championship debut, getting back-to-back birdies on the 13th and 14th holes on his way to a 3-under 67. Beau Briggs also had success with a 2-under 68 to go along with Cecil Wegener’s even-par 70.
The Rebels weren’t able to carry the momentum to the second round on Thursday, dropping six spots in the standings.
“We didn’t get off to the greatest of starts again, but we fought our tails off especially on that back nine,” Malloy said after the round. “If we can get off to a little better start, we’ll be in a really good position. I was proud of our fight. We’re certainly still in this thing to get to match play.”
Freshman Jackson Suber was a bright spot for the Rebels. He shot a career-low 5-under 65 at Sea Island Golf Club. Suber had back-to-back the 7th and 8th holes followed by five birdies in seven holes in the back nine. The score put him tied for fourth individually.
Jack Gnam continued to compete at a high level with an even-par 70 on Thursday. Gnam is tied for 12th individually entering the final round of stroke play.
“Both of our freshmen have been stepping up,” Malloy said. “Jackson (Suber) today was about as flawless as you can get around this place. The wind started to pick up on the back nine, and he didn’t let it affect him and played a great round of golf. He’s been doing that lately, and we look for more of that from him tomorrow.”
The Rebels will need good performances from the whole squad in the third round to sneak into the top eight and advance to match play.
The final round of stroke play tees off Friday morning a 6:30 a.m. at Sea Island Golf Club.