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Roberts’ 69 helps FSU keep eight-shot lead going into final round

Freshman Brett Roberts fired a 69 for the top-seeded Florida State men’s golf team in Tuesday’s second round of the NCAA Tallahassee Regional. FSU shot a 7-under 281 and built an eight-stroke lead at Seminole Legacy Golf Club.

“They came out ready to go once again,” FSU coach Trey Jones said. “Our top three guys all year long have been Brett, Vinny (Norrman) and John (Pak), and they got it under par after the second hole today. We talked about taking the fight to the boxer, don’t get hit in the face first. We’ll come out and do the same thing tomorrow.”

A swirling wind and firmed-up greens kept scores a bit higher on Tuesday, as Roberts was the lone Seminole to shoot in the 60s. His crucial round helped FSU greatly after Liberty and Georgia Tech were trying to make closer runs, at times being just one stroke behind on the team leaderboard.

FSU holds the lead at 24-under. Second-place Liberty is at 16-under — after shooting an 11-under 277 on Tuesday — while Georgia Tech is in third at 13-under.

Roberts recorded five birdies in the second round, with a double-bogey on the monstrous par-5, 600-yard sixth hole. After shooting a 34 on the front nine, he was steady on the difficult back nine as he made a birdie on the par-5 11th and shot a 35 on the final nine.

“It’s pretty important to get off to a really good start,” Roberts added. “The back nine plays a lot longer with a lot of long irons, and it’s hard to take it low on the back too.”

Roberts is tied for third overall on the individual leaderboard, behind Jacksonville’s Michael Sakane (-11) and Georgia’s Davis Thompson (-10).

“There’s a reason, in football terms, he was a five-star recruit. He was as good as any high school recruit in the country,” Jones said of Roberts. “He’s as good as any freshman in the country. He has gotten better and better and listens to everything you tell him to do. He’s super talented.”

Graduate transfer Vincent Norrman battled hard for a 2-under 70, shooting 35s on the front and back nine. He recorded a key birdie on the 17th hole — a par-4, 465-yarder — to send him into Wednesday’s final round with some confidence and momentum. Norrman is tied for fifth.

Redshirt sophomore Cole Anderson had another good day, also shooting 2-under and tying for fifth overall at 6-under. He may have provided the biggest shot of the day when he hit an eagle on the par-5 11th hole at a time when both Liberty and Georgia Tech were inching closer up the leaderboard.

Frederik Kjettrup and John Pak rounded out the scores with even-par 72s each. Team and individual leaderboards can be viewed on Golfstat.com.

Florida State tees off in the final round on Wednesday at 8 a.m., as starting tee times have been pushed up by 30 minutes.