EL PASO, Texas – With five birdies in the second round Saturday, Florida Southern junior John Coultas finished the first day of the College All-American Golf Classic with a total score of two-over par 144, which was good for 16th place in the exclusive field of the nation's top college golfers.
Playing with Charles Kim from the University of Arkansas, Coultas was the first to tee off Saturday morning in round one at El Paso Country Club. After a bogey on the first hole, Coultas parred the next three and eventually made the turn at two-over following a birdie on the par-5 No. 9. That kept him tied with his playing partner, and Coultas picked up another birdie on the par-5 No. 13 to help him finish round one at three-over par 74. Kim used a birdie on 15 to move one stroke ahead of Coultas and ended the first round with a 72.
Tied for the lead after round one were Sam Burns of LSU and Oklahoma State's Kristoffer Ventura, who each shot a four-under par 67. Davis Riley of Alabama was third at that point with a 68.
In the second round, Coultas and Kim started on No. 10, and Kim got off to a strong start with four birdies on the first six holes to make the turn at two-under for the round. Coultas turned at -1 following three birdies of his own and remained at -1 until a double-bogey on No. 4. He recovered from that, however, to par his next three holes before finishing the day with back-to-back birdies on 8 and 9. That gave him a one-under par 70 in round two.
Coultas again had birdies on the two par-5's at El Paso Country Club and was one of only three golfers who did that in each round Saturday. The others were Burns, and Justin Suh of Southern Cal.
With his second round of four-under par 67, Ventura was able to take a 1-stroke lead over Burns at day's end (134-135). Suh was third with a five-under par 137, putting him three strokes behind Ventura. John Oda of UNLV was in fourth place with a 138, while Kim and Rico Hoey of Southern Cal completed the top-five with scores of 139.
The final round begins Sunday morning at 8 a.m. (MT), with Coultas starting at 8:10 and playing with Patrick Martin from Vanderbilt and Luis Gagne from LSU. Live stats are available through Golfstat.