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Burns Struggles but Keeps Lead in Division II Golf

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

First-round leader Bob Burns of Cal State Northridge shot a three-over-par 75 Wednesday in the second round of the NCAA Division II golf championships at the Loxahatchee Country Club.

Not good? Well, it was good enough to keep the lead.

At 145, one over par midway through the competition, Burns remains atop the leader board. His teammates couldn’t keep pace, however, as they slipped to third at 305-602. Led by Dave McMillan and John Sielsky, four-time champion Florida Southern College of Lakeland retained its lead with 302-589.

Troy State, Ala., taking advantage of its early starting time, shot 296 and moved ahead of Northridge into second at 601.

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McMillan trails Burns by one stroke, at 75-146, for the individual lead. Sielsky shot a 76-147 to tie for third.

The wind increased as the day wore on, perhaps wearing out some of the Northridge golfers. But CSUN Coach Jim Bracken wouldn’t use that as an excuse.

“That shouldn’t have made any difference,” Bracken said. “We play in the wind a lot back home. All the fellows say they’re hitting the ball well, they just aren’t making any putts.

“We just have to keep rolling the ball and hope the putts start to fall and we can get back into contention.”

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Burns, meanwhile, is surprised to still be in contention after Wednesday’s round.

“I’m really surprised to still be leading after shooting 75,” said Burns, a junior from Granada Hills and Northridge’s top golfer all season. “I had a lot of birdie opportunities that I missed, and I missed a lot of par putts too.”

Burns double-bogeyed the first hole, hitting his second shot into a greenside bunker and the third into the tall grass behind the green. Then his fourth shot rolled back through the green and into the trap from whence it came.

Burns finally made an eight-foot putt to save six. He added two birdies and three bogeys in the balance of the round.

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