WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Illinois State golfer Trent Wallace continued his stellar play Tuesday at the NCAA West Lafayette Regional.
Firing a 2-under-par 70 (34-36), he took the lead with a 6-under 138 (68-70) after second-round action on Purdue University's par-72, 7,411-yard Kampen Course.
Wallace has the lowest score through 36 holes in the 75-man field. Among 13 teams, New Mexico is the new leader at 570 after a a 6-under-par 270 Tuesday. UNLV is second at 573.
Wallace, a sophomore, is one stroke in front of New Mexico’s Andrej Bevins, the No. 99-ranked player in the country, and UNLV’s Shintaro Ban, who is ranked No. 60. The field includes 15 ranked golfers.
"Trent continued his solid play and hit some big shots when needed on the most demanding holes," said ISU coach Ray Kralis.
"He had a number of good looks on his opening nine and did a great job of staying patient when settling for pars."
Lurking two strokes behind is UNLV’s John Oda, who led after 18 holes and is ranked 14th nationally, and Andre Garcia of New Mexico.
"The winds were stronger today, making it so important to commit to the shots and accept the results," Kralis said. "Stronger winds tomorrow will require more of the same."
Wallace started on the 10th hole and rattled off six consecutive pars before collecting a birdie on the par-5 16th to move to 5-under. However, he gave the stroke back when he bogeyed the par-3 17th. He'd go on to par No. 18 and make the turn with an even-par 36.
The Joliet native then birdied the par-4 first, made par on the second, birdied the par-4 third and birdied the par-5 fourth, which moved him to 7-under.
After making par on the par-3 fifth, Wallace double-bogeyed the par-5 sixth and bogeyed the par-4 seventh, dropping back to 4-under.
Wallace birdied the final two holes, both par-4s, to finish the front nine with a 2-under 34. He collected six birdies, with five coming on the front nine, and has 12 birdies over 36 holes.
"He is playing beautifully in all facets of the game, and he has been a stud managing his mind and emotions through the highs and lows," Kralis said.
"The opening two rounds have been huge for his confidence, and he just needs to play his game tomorrow and stay in the moment."
Play concludes Wednesday with the third and final round starting at 6:50 a.m. (CDT). As long as Wallace finishes with the lowest score out of the 10 individuals competing, he will move on to the May 26-29 NCAA Championship at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove.