PHOENIX, Ariz.—Columbia first-year Jeremy Perna fired back-to-back 69s on Friday and enters Saturday’s final round in sixth place at the Grand Canyon University Invitational. The field will play the final 18 holes Saturday at the GCU Golf Course.

Perna, who led two Columbia teams and 10 individual Lions golfers, finished Friday’s first two rounds with a 69-69-138 (-4) score. He trails individual tournament leaders in Grand Canyon’s Billy Comeaux 67-68-135 (-7) and Eastern Michigan’s Jared Multer at 69-66-135 (-7) by three strokes.

Perna started off hot in the first round as he tallied back-to-back birdies on holes 2 and 3, then registered birdies on holes 12, 14 and 16. In the second round, he missed par on just one hole and used birdies on 10, 13 and 18 to finish with a 33 on the back 9. Through eight rounds this fall, Perna averaged 76.50 strokes per round and placed among the top-25 golfers in one of four competitions. His previous low round was a 74 at the Quechee Club Intercollegiate. His back-to-back 69s tie Columbia’s mark for low round score in 2016-17 as senior Mert Selamet also recorded a 69 at the Cornell Invitational this fall.

Behind Perna’s performance, Columbia’s B Team stood in third place with a 284 after the first round. After shooting a 291 in the second round, Columbia’s B Team is now in a tie for eighth place with a 284-291-575 (+7). Columbia’s A Team enters Saturday’s final round in 12th place with a 287-295-582 (+14).

Junior Joshua Suh led Columbia’s A Team with a 71-72-143 (+1) performance and is tied for 26th on the leaderboard. Suh carded six birdies on the day. Senior Christopher Chu totaled a team-high eight birdies, including six in the first round to finish with a 70-74-144 (+2). He stands in 34th place. Sophomore Sunny Yan carded two eagles and three birdies to total a 71-74-145 (+3). Yan is in 40th place.

The rest of Columbia's 10 individuals are listed below.

Duke is the team leader after shooting a 287-269-556 (-12) and leads second place Eastern Michigan (285-274-559, -9) by three strokes. The Blue Devils shot a team-low 269 in the second round to take the lead.

GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY INVITATIONAL TEAM LEADERBOARD

Phoenix, Ariz., GCU Golf Course (Par 71, 7,269 yards)

Pos.

Team

To Par

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Total

1

Duke

-12

287

269

-

556

2.

Eastern Michigan

-9

285

274

-

559

3.

Grand Canyon

-6

279

283

-

562

3.

Loyola Marymount

-6

276

286

-

562

5.

Indiana

+2

288

282

-

570

6.

Utah Valley

+4

290

282

-

572

7.

Northern Illinois

+6

285

289

-

574

8.

Wichita State

+7

287

288

-

575

8.

Columbia B

+7

284

291

-

575

10.

Duke B

+12

293

287

-

580

11.

UKMC

+13

286

295

-

581

12.

Columbia

+14

287

295

-

582

13.

Southern Utah

+19

291

296

-

587

14.

South Dakota

+23

296

295

-

591

15.

CSU-Bakersfield

+27

301

294

-

595

16.

Omaha

+37

303

302

-

605

COLUMBIA B PLAYER LEADERBOARD

Pos.

Player

To Par

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Total

T6

Jeremy Perna

-4

69

69

-

138

T34

Christopher Chu

+2

70

74

-

144

T40

Sunny Yan

+3

71

74

-

145

T69

J Christian FitzGerald

+8

76

74

-

150

98

Tharusyan Pillay

-

74

0

-

74

             

COLUMBIA A PLAYER LEADERBOARD

Pos.

Player

To Par

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Total

T26

Joshua Suh

+1

71

72

-

143

T60

Arjuna Anday

+6

73

75

-

148

T60

Nick Brisebois

+6

73

75

-

148

T65

Mert Selamet

+7

76

73

-

149

T78

Curtis Chan

+10

70

82

-

152