Going into the second day of the National Junior College Athletic Association men's national golf championship, Dodge City Community College head coach Chris Robinson told his players that a round in the 290s would put them back in contention.
The Conqs responded with one of the most improved rounds of the day.
Behind a sizzling 3-under par round of 69 from freshman Mariano Rossi, the Conqs shot a 296 as a team, which was 12 shots better than their day one total. They currently sit in 11th place overall, 18 shots behind the leaders from Indian Hills.
"Overall this is our best round that we've played all year," Robinson said. "I say that because if we shoot another 305 or above, the chances of us being in the mix are slim to none. We wanted anything in the 290s and our boys came ready to play."
Rossi's sensational round was the second best of the day, and it featured one bogey ad four birdies. His cumulative total of 1-under par has him a tie for fourth individually, just three shots off the pace.
Sophomore Alex Tiong shook off an opening round 78 to card a 2-over 74 on day two. At one point, he was sitting in red figures under par, but some back nine trouble hindered him coming in. Tying Rossi for most improved round was Bobby Taggart, who carded an impressive 75 to keep Dodge City in the thick of things.
Finally, Loran Richmeier fired off back-to-back birdies on 16 and 17 to finish with a 78, and Parker Dolezal could never get the wheels rolling, finishing with a 79.
Now with a team score in the middle of the pack and conditions expected to turn breezy this afternoon, the Conqs see this as their opportunity to make up some serious ground.
"We just to have one scary round, whether it's the third or fourth round, and we can do some damage and continue moving up," Robinson said. "With the wind expected to blow 20, I think everyone is going to go up, where in conference and districts, it blew that hard and we were still able to go low. It's working into our favor, I think."
The Conqs will tee off this morning beginning at 10:30 a.m., with Taggart, while Richmeier will be the final Dodge golfer to go off at 11:06 a.m.
As for the Lady Conqs, mother nature prevented them from finishing their third round, as Jacie Scheer and Maurica Smith have a couple holes remaining before their third day is complete.
Amy Stegman fired a 107 and Krystal Martinez carded a 96 for the Conqs, as they were the only two to finish their rounds before the skies opened up. The players with holes remaining will complete their third round this morning before turning right around to play their fourth round in the afternoon.