UVa Golfers Battle to 21st Place During 1st Round of NCAAs

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
West Lafayette, IN The Virginia men’s golf team shot 24-over 312 to stand 21st after the opening round of play at the 2008 NCAA Golf Championships. The 30-team field struggled in extremely tough and windy conditions at Purdue’s Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex. Only co-leaders USC and UCLA managed to post scores below 10-over par. The Trojans and Bruins finished at 9-over 297.

“When you are having a national championship, it should be difficult, but they might have overdone it a bit with this rough,” said Cavalier coach Bowen Sargent. “If you drive it off the fairway, its bogey. If you drive it too far off the fairway, you might was well tee up another. It was something else.”

The 30th seed, in the tournament that runs through Saturday, the Cavaliers had a rough start playing in the cold, windy conditions. Virginia’s five golfers shot 29-over on the front nine, but regrouped and finished the back nine at 11-over. The four players who posted the team’s counting scores were 5-over on the back nine.”

“They did a nice job on the back side,” Sargent said. “That was probably one of the better efforts of any team today over that stretch of the course. We’re all right, we’re just a couple of strokes from the cut line.”

Following Friday’s third round, the field will be trimmed to 15 teams for the final 18 hole of play. The Cavaliers finished the first round just three strokes out of 12th place, where four teams are tied at 309.

UVa freshman Kyle Stough had the Cavaliers best day. He finished at 3-over 75, including a 1-over performance on the front nine. He enters the second round in 23rd place. Senior Greg Carlin used a pair of back nine birdies to finish at 5-over 77. Freshman Will Collins wrapped up his round at 6-over 78 after finishing his front nine at 5-over. Carlin is in 53rd place and Collins is 70th.

Sophomore Steven Rojas, who entered the NCAAs as UVa’s leader in stroke average this year, managed just one par on the front nine and made the turn at 10-over on his way to a first-day score of 16-over 88. Freshman Amory Davis did not record a non-bogey until the eighth hole when he made his first par. He finished the front nine at 8-over but played much better over the back nine to finish at 10-over 82.

“Kyle played solid and made a lot of four-, five- and six-foot putts which is something you have to do on a tough condition day,” Sargent said. “He was never out of position and was able to chip and putt well. Steven will rebound for us. He was just a little off today. His demeanor after the round was fine. You would have thought he had shot 74 or 75. He handled having a bad day really well.”

Sargent said the winds, which blew from the east on a course where the majority of the holes run north and south, made for a long day for most of the teams.

“It makes it harder to put the ball in play,” Sargent said. “The wind died down in the afternoon, so those teams had a little bit of an advantage over those of us who started in the morning.

UCLA’s Kevin Chappell leads the field at 3-under 69. He was one of just three players to break par. Only three more in the field of 156 competitors managed to shoot par.

“At this tournament, you want to identify the best teams,” Sargent said. “The course is hard, but it is hard for everyone. You want to be able to identify the best teams. This is what the U.S. Amateur or British Amateur or any other major championship is like. You want a good test. This is the way it should be.”

Virginia is scheduled to start its second round Thursday at 1:47 p.m. Links to live scoring of the tournament are at VirginiaSports.com and Golfstat.com.

NCAA Championships
Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex Kamden Course
West Lafayette, IN
Par-72, 7,450 yards
First Round Results

Team Results
1. USC (1) 297
1. UCLA (5) 297
3. Oklahoma State (4) 298
4. Clemson (10) 301
4. Kent State (27) 301
6. Illinois (36) 302
6. Florida (7) 302
8. Georgia (3) 303
9. Washington (49) 305
10. Auburn (14) 306
10. Charlotte (6) 306
12. Stanford (8) 309
12. Texas A&M (19) 309
12. Middle Tennessee State (46) 309
12. Alabama (2) 309
16. San Diego State (23) 310
17. Arizona State (22) 311
17. Louisville (26) 311
17. Texas (38) 311
17. UAB (17) 311
21. Virginia 312
22. Indiana (20) 313
22. East Tennessee State (16) 313
24. Wake Forest (12) 314
25. Penn State (33) 315
25. Oregon (29) 315
27. UC-Irvine (34) 320
28. Mississippi State (31) 326
28. Augusta State (40) 326
30. St. Mary’s 333
Golfstat ranking in parenthesis

Individual Leaders
1. Kevin Chappell, UCLA 69
2. David Markle, Kent State 70
2. Tim Sluiter, USC 70
4. Billy Horschel, Florida 72
4. Joel Sjoholm, Georgia State* 72
4. Kyle Stanley, Clemson 72
7. Trent Leon, Oklahoma State 73
7. Webb Simpson, Wake Forest 73
7. Hudson Swafford, Georgia 73
* Competing as an individual

Virginia Results
23. Kyle Stough 75
53. Greg Carlin 77
70. Will Collins 78
120. Amory Davis 82
152. Steven Rojas 88