EUGENE, Ore. – Vanderbilt took a two-stroke lead in the NCAA tournament Saturday and Southern California freshman Justin Suh shot a 3-under 67 to top the individual standings.
Vanderbilt shot an even-par 280 — with only four of the five players' scores counting in the team total — to reach 3-over 563 at Eugene Country Club. Matthias Schwab led the Commodores with a 68.
"That was a Vanderbilt golf kind of day," Vanderbilt coach Scott Limbaugh said. "I'm so proud of the resiliency this group continues to show each time out. It was not a great start to the round today and I think having all five guys in there really paid off for us. The guys stayed positive and that gave us the opportunity to finish strong. It was a total team effort today and that is what it will have to continue to be."
Southern California was second after a 2-over round.
"I don't think the strategy really changes day to day, so you really got to drive it in the fairway," Trojans coach Chris Zambri said. "I like where we are. There is so much golf left, so it's a nice way to start, but there is a lot to play."
Arkansas was third at 6 over, followed by host Oregon and defending champion LSU at 8 under, 2013 and 2014 champion Alabama at 9 over, and Texas and Illinois at 10 over. The field will be cut to the top 15 teams after the third round Sunday and the top eight after the fourth round Monday will advance to match play.
Suh had a 5-under 135 total for a one-stroke lead over Alabama's Robby Shelton and San Diego State's Nahum Mendoza III with two rounds left.
"Approaching the NCAAs, the team focused on certain parts of the game that we expected to see and we're trying to score as well as we can," Suh said. "As far as my start, it's just a matter of staying patient."
Shelton shot a 66, and Mendoza bogeyed five of the last six holes in a 69.