Mar 11, 2014 11:36 AM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE, La. - Sophomore Christian Verrougstraete carded a 36-hole score of seven-under par (137) to finish the day in third and help propel the Ragin' Cajuns golf team into third after the first day of the 29th Louisiana Classics on Monday at Oakbourne Country Club.
"The team played very solidly at home," head coach Theo Sliman said. "We still haven't seen all five guys in the lineup play to their maximum potential, but I think that is coming soon. To see this team not play its best golf but still be in contention with schools like LSU and Illinois is very encouraging. This was a good confidence boosting round for this team."
Verrougstraete played inspired golf posting a season best round of 67 (-5) in the morning round, and then followed that up with a score of 2-under in the afternoon round.
"Christian has been knocking on the door for a while," Sliman added. "He has been playing really consistent with his mental game. That has finally transpired with his physical game. I have been extremely proud of the detail he puts into his preparations, and I am glad to see his hard work pay off."
Thomas Strandemo joins Verrougstraete in the top 10 notching a score of 3-under in the final round to end the day in ninth with the same score overall.
"Thomas is a fighter, and there is no surprise in his performance today," Sliman said. "He is the definition of an athlete and a competitor. He has been striking the ball beautiful and is learning a lot from his mistakes."
No. 9 Illinois blazed the course in the afternoon posting a score of 18-under (270) in its final 18 holes to finish in the lead at 27-under (549). No. 33 LSU (-14, 562), Louisiana (-9, 567), Louisiana Tech (-3, 573) and Tulsa (-2, 574) round out the top 5 teams.
The Fighting Illini's Brian Coleman sits atop the individual leaderboard at 9-under (135) after posting the lowest score of the day in the second round with a 66 (-6).
Ross Davis also had a score of par or better on the first day carding a score of 1-under (143) to finish in a tie for 14th. Haraldur Magnus had a tough second round falling out of the top 25 to finish in a tie for 29th at 2-over (146).
"It was really good to see Ross step up today and shoot two rounds of even par or better," Sliman commented. "He stepped up today, and I am very proud of him."
Fernando Cruz Valle rounded out the scoring for the Ragin' Cajuns in a tie for 47th at 6-over (150), while Adam Galliano had a good outing as an individual in a tie for 39th at 4-over 148).
"We didn't finish out the second round how we would like to, but we are still in there," Sliman said. "Hats off to Illinois for their performance today. They played a brilliant round. Tomorrow is a brand new day, and I know this team is anxious to come out and close out the tournament on a strong note."
Due to the threat of weather the start of the final round has been changed to an 8 a.m. shotgun start. The Cajuns are paired with LSU and Illinois in the final round. Fans can follow the tournament live on Golfstat.com. Live video including a feature group camera is also available on RaginCajuns.com.