UW in sixth after low round of the day.

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PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. — After improving by 10 strokes and tying for the low round of the day, the Washington men’s golf team is right back in the hunt at the NCAA championships.

The Huskies posted a 2-over 286 total Wednesday at Riviera Country Club and jumped up to sixth place out of the 30 teams. UW had a 296 the first day and was in 20th.

The top eight teams after the final round of stroke play Thursday advance to match play Friday.

“We played great on the back nine,” UW coach Matt Thurmond said after the Huskies went 3-under the final nine holes.

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“When we were at about the 10th hole I looked at the scoring and we were in 28th place. It wasn’t a real 28th place because there were a lot of teams that hadn’t played yet, but we were on the bottom.”

The Huskies started their rally on No. 12 and No. 13 despite just one birdie during that stretch.

“A big difference for us wasn’t on No. 10 and 11 where most people make birdies,” said Thurmond, “it was No. 12 and 13 where others were making bogeys while we were making pars and had a birdie.

“That was huge.”

Sophomore Trevor Simby led UW with a 1-under 70.

Junior Chris Williams, the fourth-ranked amateur in the world, had a 71.

“Coach Thurmond told me on 15 to finish strong and that we’re hanging in there,” Williams said. “So, I did what I could. I made some birdies and a par here and there. It was a good finish.”

Williams was able to shoot even-par 71.

Charlie Hughes and Cheng-Tsung Pan are UW’s overall leaders. Both are at 3-over 146 for the tournament after Pan had a 72 Wednesday and Hughes a 73.

From team report.

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