Penguins Within Striking Distance At Horizon League Championships

Ken Keller (Photo by Drae Smith)
Ken Keller (Photo by Drae Smith)

Howey-In-The-Hills, Fla. – The Youngstown State men's golf team sits in third place and is just seven shots off the lead following the Monday's second round action at the Horizon League Championships at Mission Inn Resort's El Campeon Golf Course.

During Monday's second round, the Penguins carded a 298, which was a seven-shot improvement from an opening round 305. The 298 was YSU's lowest at the tournament since a third-round 294 in 2016. YSU was one of four teams to shoot a 298 for the day.

In the team standings, the Guins are now third with a two-round total of 603 (305-298). Northern Kentucky maintained its first-round lead and has a total of 596 (298-298) while Wright State moved up to second with a two-round total of 600 (302-298). YSU was fourth after day one and was able to move past Oakland, which dropped to fifth. The top five teams are all within 11 strokes entering the final round.

Sophomore Zack Ford led the second-round charge for the Penguins carding a one-under-par 71. Sophomore Ken Keller was right behind Ford on Monday firing an even-par 72. Keller jumped nine spots in the standings and will enter the final round tied for sixth with a total of 149. Ford moved up 11 spots and sits in 12th place after day two with a total of 150. Green Bay's George Kneiser is the tournament leader with a two-round 140.

Ford made an impressive nine-shot improvement between his first and second rounds. It was the second-best improvement of the tournament behind IUPUI's Nathan Cunningham (10 shots). He opened his second round with a birdie, and following a bogey at No. 2, rebounded with two pars and a pair of birdies. A bogey at the par-4 seventh dropped him to one-under par 34 for the first nine holes. On the back nine, Ford had two bogeys and birdies at the 12th and 14th to finish with a 37 and shoot 71 for the round.

Keller had a memorable round going through the first 16 holes. He started his round with a birdie at the par-5 first hole and navigated through bogeys at four and five to card a birdie on the eighth and shoot a 35 on the front nine. He started the back with an eagle three at the par-5 10th before adding birdies at 14 and 16 to get to four-under par. However, he had a triple-bogey at the par-5 17th and bogeyed the par-4 18th to finish with a round of 72.

Senior Jason McQuown had a nice bounce-back round of 75 to move up eight spots into 22nd place with a two-round total of 156. McQuown started his second round slow with five bogeys on his first six holes, but a birdie at No. 7 helped change his momentum. He pared the next three holes before a bogey at 11. McQuown added birdies at No. 12 and No. 17 to go along with five pars to conclude his round. Addtionally, he golfed the final 12 holes at two-under par.

Sophomore C.J. Hughes is in 17th place with a two-round total of 152. After an opening round 72 that put him in third place, he had a round of 80 on Monday. Hughes had 10 pars and birdies at No. 10 and No. 16 to highlight his round.

First-Team All-Horizon League honoree Kevin Scherr turned in an 82 and is in 29th place after the two rounds with a 159. 

The final round gets underway on Tuesday with YSU teeing off at 8:50 a.m. The Penguins will be paired with Green Bay. Live stats will be available via Golfstat.com and the Golfstat mobile app.