SILVIS, Ill.—Senior Carlos Ardila closed out his second round at the NAIA National Championship in a big way Wednesday afternoon.
The Colombian recorded three consecutive birdies on his final three holes of the day to finish with a 2-under par round of 69.
Ardila started the day a little sluggish, 1-over through three holes, but carded his first birdie of the day on his fourth hole, hitting out of a fairway bunker to within 25 feet on his second shot. Ardila made the turn after back-to-back bogeys to finish his first nine at 2-over.
“The big key at the turn was to keep hitting good putts and giving myself chances to put it on the green,” said Ardila.
Ardila was close to two more birdies on the front, just missing putts on the 10th and 12th holes. He closed the round with a four-under back nine score of 31. The birdie streak started with a chip-in just off the green on the Par 3 seventh, then continued on the eighth. On the final hole of the day, Ardila placed his second shot towards the back left corner of the green, but connected on a 30+ foot sweeping putt.
“This course requires a lot of patience and you just can’t give up,” said coach Steve Phelps. “He came in and finished those last three holes strong.”
Ardila is tied for sixth, four shots behind overall leader S.M. Lee of Dalton State.
Freshman Jacob Soucinek shaved four shots off his Round 1 score, to card an even-par 71. Soucinek recorded three birdies in the first nine holes to make the turn at 1-under. He added one more birdie in the second nine.
“It’s all about getting it off the tee well and having a good short game,” said Soucinek. “I hit fairways and greens and gave myself good looks, and took advantage by making some putts.”
Landry Miller finished with an 81, and David Ramirez rounded out the scoring with an 84. As a team, the Fire were six shots better, carding a 305.
The Fire are 24th after 36 holes. Coastal Georgia has taken the team lead at -3.
SEU will tee off in the third round on Thursday, with the field cut to the top 17 teams and 40 individuals following 54 holes.