Augusta State graduate assistant coach Olle Bengtsson walked with Taylor Floyd all day, witnessing one distant drive after another.
In two rounds of action Saturday during the Augusta State Invitational at Forest Hills Golf Club, Floyd outdrove his playing partners by 20 to 30 yards all day.
“It’s a sick joke,” Bentgsson said.
It’s no joke that Floyd is in contention to win the Jaguars’ home event after posting round of 67-67 and is in second place. The Augusta State senior is one shot behind Julien Brun, of Texas Christian. Brun birdied his final five holes of the second round for 65 to get to
11-under-par through 36 holes. Texas’ Dylan Frittelli (68-67) is two shots back in third.
Floyd, who won the event as a freshman in 2009, is bidding to become the fourth player in the tournament’s 34-year history to win two titles. He said he’s a different player now than he was three years ago.
“I think I’ll be a little more confident,” Floyd said. “… I’ll still be nervous. This is my last time playing here. I want to win really bad. More importantly, I want to play well for the team.
With Floyd’s play, Augusta State is tied for first with No. 1 Texas at 17-under. The Jaguars followed a round of 283 in the morning with a 12-under 276 in the afternoon.
Augusta State senior Brendan Gillins is tied for fifth after rounds of 70-69, while Alex Wennstam is tied for 15th after his 72-69 effort. Robin Petersson bounced back from an opening 75 with 71.
The Jaguars knew going into their home event, they need to finish sixth or better to get to .500 on the season and qualify for postseason play. Augusta State owns a 12-shot advantage over seventh place (Coastal Carolina), entering today’s final round. None of the Jaguars are thinking about just finishing sixth or better, though.
“I think that pressure’s completely gone,” Gillins said. “Our next goal is not necessarily to make postseason. We need to somehow find a way to beat Texas tomorrow. That’d be huge for us.”
Playing well today would be huge for Floyd as well. He switched drivers Thursday. In his first competitive action with his new tool, he blistered his drives.
At the par-5 sixth, he mishit his driver, catching the ball of the heel. He still drove it 315 in the middle of the fairway and eventually made birdie.
“I hit it well today,” Floyd said. “My misses are definitely five, six, seven yards longer. The low shots, the ones off the heel will take off on a pretty good flight.”