PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - - A second round 292 propelled the Wilmington University golf team up two spots to eighth overall after two rounds at the GolfRank Invitational, playing on the Champion Course at PGA National on Monday, hosted by Nova Southeastern.
After a 306 team score in the morning, the Wildcats rebounded for a 292, the fifth best score of the afternoon to move up to eighth overall. The team's 598 (+22) is eight strokes behind Johnson & Wales and two strokes ahead of Palm Beach Atlantic.
Senior Joey Russo sank three birdies in the second round to lead the Wildcats with a 71 (-1) in the afternoon. He moved up 27 spots after a 78 in the first round, and sits in a tie for 25th overall after Monday with a 149 (+5).
Senior Zac Moore rebounded in the second round as well, sinking four birdies of his own to shoot an even par 72 in the afternoon. He moved up 19 spots to be tied with Joey Russo in 25th after the first two rounds, shooting a 77-72 for a 149 (+5).
Junior Ryan Rucinski improved in his second round as well, shooting four strokes better to move up 13 spots on the leaderboard. Rucinski sank three birdies in the second round, finishing with a 73 (+1). He is in a tie for 31st overall after posting a 77-73 for a 150 (+6) in the first two rounds.
Freshman Enrique Valverde closed out the scoring for the Wildcats in the second round, posting a 76 in the afternoon. He led the Wildcats with a 75 in the first round, but two double bogeys in the second round hurt the freshman. He sank four birdies in the afternoon but his second double bogey on his second to last hole of the day put him at 76 (+4) for the round. He is in a tie for 37th overall with a 75-76 for a 151 (+7) after two rounds.
Sophomore Braden McKay rounded out the Wildcats on Monday, posting a 77-79 for a 156 (+12) in the first two rounds. McKay birdied his first hole of the second round, but a quad on the par four 16th put the sophomore behind the rest of the round. He is in a tie for 55th after the first day.
Playing as an individual, freshman Sergio Rochel shot a 76-81 for a 157 (+13) in his first action as a Wildcat. He is in a tie for 59th after the first two rounds. Matthew Kettleson is also playing as an individual, posting an 84-87 for a 171 (+27) in his first action of the 2017-18 season. He is in 71st after the first day.
The Wildcats will finish their first regular season tournament with the third round of the GolfRank Invite on Tuesday. The final round will also be a shotgun start, with the Wildcats starting on holes nine through 11. The opening horn will sound at 8:30 a.m.