The Mountaineers’ day two par has them in firm contention to leave the Rancho Santa Fe Regional as NCAA Championship qualifiers.

WVU played in round two of the 14-team NCAA Regional in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. on Tuesday and was the only team to golf at or below par, scoring an even 280. The performance moved the Mountaineers from a fifth-place tie to third at +5 overall.

Junior Max Green, named WVU Golf’s Player of the Year this season, led the way with a 69 (-1) round. He is now at an even par overall and is tied for eighth among all individuals.

Fellow junior Todd Duncan and sophomore Kaleb Wilson each golfed 70-stroke pars on Tuesday, and senior Jackson Davenport recorded WVU’s fourth and final round two score at 71 (+1).

Wilson is now +1 for the Regional, and Duncan is not far behind at +3. Davenport is now +6 and tied for 30th after recording a 75 (+5) first round.

The consistency between WVU’s scorers was key for the first-place finish in round two, as most other teams had at least one golfer trailing behind the rest. Each scorer played a pivotal role in the team’s final 280 (E) score.

For Wilson and Davenport, that role was mainly consistency throughout the round. In the back nine that started WVU’s day, Wilson golfed an early bogey on hole 11, which he immediately covered for with a birdie on 12. He stayed even for the rest of the back nine then golfed one birdie and one bogey again on the front nine.

Davenport also golfed a par on the back nine to start the day, shooting two birdies and two bogeys. He nearly stayed even on the front nine but recorded his second bogey on the final hole of the day to go one stroke over.

Green and Duncan’s roles were to balance each other’s performance on each set of nine. Green struggled on the back nine to start the day, golfing two bogeys and a six-stroke double bogey on hole 18 to go +4, but Duncan minimized the impact.

Todd Duncan shined on the back nine with an early birdie on hole 11 and an eagle on the par-five hole 12. He finished -1 on the back and stayed mostly consistent on the front but did fall behind with a +1, as a bogey on hole 18 broke his six-hole streak of pars.

Green exploded on the front nine, covering both for Duncan’s second half and for his own lackluster performance to that point. He started the front with three straight birdies, on a par four, a par three, and a par five. He also birdied on hole six and on nine, the hole most struggled on.

The Mountaineers will look to play to their strengths once again on Wednesday for the final round of competition at The Farms Golf Club. West Virginia will start this time on the front nine with an 8 a.m. tee time for its first golfer.

Junior Pierce Grieve will be the lead-off golfer for the Mountaineers and will check the conditions for those that follow. Grieve struggled on day two, shooting a +12 after being the only Mountaineer to finish even on Monday but will look to bounce back on Wednesday.

Team Standings:

1. North Florida: 277-286=563 (+3)

2. California: 280-284=564 (+4)

3. West Virginia: 285-280=565 (+5)

4. Oklahoma State: 278-288=566 (+6)

5. Oklahoma: 284-284=568 (+8)

6. San Diego: 285-284=569 (+9)

7. Arizona State: 286-285=571 (+11)

T8. South Florida: 293-288=581 (+21)

T8. Washington: 290-291=581 (+21)

10. Chattanooga: 294-288=582 (+22)

11. Kansas: 297-298=595 (+35)

12. Wright State: 298-306=604 (+44)

13. Seton Hall: 302-303=605 (+45)

14. Winthrop: 305-308=613 (+53)

Photo from WVU Men’s Golf