May 17, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Baylor senior men’s golfer and 2012 Big 12 Conference champion Joakim Mikkelsen is tied atop the leaderboard Thursday after the first round of the NCAA Ann Arbor Regional. Mikkelsen, TCU’s Julien Brun and USC’s Anthony Paolucci each shot a first-round 4-under 67.
Mikkelsen, ranked 27th nationally by Golfstat, carded his lowest round of the season since a first-round 66 at the Lone Star Invitational in October. It was also his first sub-par first round since carding a 70 in Baylor’s fall finale at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate in November.
After a bogey and double-bogey on successive holes, Mikkelsen fired an eagle on the par-4 No. 13 to kick-start a 6-under run on the remaining 15 holes. The Drammen, Norway, native carded a 3-under on his final nine holes.
No. 29 Baylor is eight strokes behind the top five and 10 strokes out of second place at 12-over 296 – good for 11th overall. No. 43 TCU owns an eight-stroke lead on the field, shooting 6-under 278. No. 18 Kent State is second at 2-over 286, while No. 42 Kennesaw State and No. 19 Virginia are tied for third at 3-over 287. No. 7 Oregon is fifth at 4-over 288.
“We have three freshmen in the lineup that have no NCAA postseason experience,” head coach Greg Priest said. “They were nervous (Thursday). We’re 10 shots out of second with two rounds to go. We’re not out of it.
“We definitely dug ourselves a hole, but it’s nothing we can’t dig out of,” Priest said. “Joakim is playing at a different level right now and we just need to get him some help.”
Junior Ryan O’Rear is tied for 43rd overall at 4-over 75. O’Rear jumped out to a hot start and was 3-under through his first four holes. However, the Salado, Texas, native bogeyed the final two holes on the front nine and two his first three on the back to fall to 1-over. He later carded a triple-bogey on the par-4 No. 6 before paring out on his final three holes of the first round.
Freshmen Niclas Mansson, Mikkel Bjerch-Andresen and Kyle Jones all made their NCAA Regional debuts Thursday. Mansson is tied for 49th overall at 5-over 76, while Bjerch-Andresen and Jones are tied for 61st at 7-over 78.
“It’s far from over,” Priest said. “We have to come out firing Friday, make good decisions – which we didn’t Thursday – and hopefully erase some of our mistakes.”
The second round of the 2012 NCAA Ann Arbor Regional continues Friday at U-M Golf Course. Baylor, Notre Dame and Ohio State will tee off No. 10 beginning at 7:50 a.m. CDT. Live scoring will be available at www.golfstat.com.
| NCAA ANN ARBOR REGIONAL
|2.||(18) Kent State||286||+2|
|t3.||(42) Kennesaw State||287||+3|
|t7.||(31) Oklahoma State||290||+6|
|t1.||(27) Joakim Mikkelsen||67||-4|