June 1, 2010
OOLETWAH, Tenn. - Making its first finals appearance since 2002, the Baylor men's golf team is tied for 16th place Tuesday after the first round of the NCAA Championships at The Honors Course.
Baylor, the tournament's No. 29 seed, raced out to an early lead in the morning group. The Bears finished a four-way tie for 16th place with UNLV, San Diego and UCLA at 6-over 294. Eight teams in the 30-team field shot under-par Tuesday, including co-leaders Oklahoma State and Florida State at 5-under 283. Oregon is third at 4-under 284 and Texas A&M is fourth at 3-under 285. Arizona State and Clemson are tied for fifth at 2-under 286, while Florida and Augusta State are locked for a seventh-place tie at 1-under 287.
"Opening the tournament on the front nine, we were off to a great start," Baylor head men's golf coach Greg Priest said. "You have to take advantage of opportunities like we did in the morning when you can because it'll catch up with you eventually.
"In order to get one of those top eight spots for match play, we're going to need solid play," Priest said. "We played well (Tuesday) until the end when mistakes on 17 and 18 hurt us."
Arizona State's Jesper Kennegard and Augusta State's Henrik Norlander are tied atop the leaderboard at 4-under 68. Baylor freshman Ryan O'Rear is among 10 golfers tied for third place overall with a 3-under 69. Joakim Mikkelsen is tied for 65th at 2-over 74, while Payne Gniewek is at 3-over 75 - good for 90th place. Both Lorenzo Scotto and Cody Paladino are tied for 103rd at 4-over 76.
"I felt like I played really well," O'Rear said. "I missed a couple of putts, but I was able to hang in there. The course is playing really tough."
O'Rear posted two birdies through the first four holes, before back-to-back bogeys dropped him to even-par. A birdie at No. 9 put O'Rear back under-par heading into the back nine. At 410-yard, par-4 No. 13, the Salado, Texas, native carded an eagle, moving him to 3-under with five holes to play. O'Rear birdied No. 15, but bogeyed No. 18 to finish 3-under par.
"Ryan (O'Rear) kept it in play, did what we needed him to do and, overall, played really solid golf," Priest said. "He birdied two of his four holes, then bogeyed back-to-back holes, but hung in there and ended up playing pretty steady on the back nine."
Thanks to two birdies over the final three holes, Mikkelsen finished the day at 2-over 74. Like O'Rear, Gniewek opened the tournament with three birdies on the front nine. Two bogeys and a double-bogey at No. 15 dropped Gniewek to 3-over for the day. After paring the first eight holes, Scotto endured four straight bogeys before a birdie on the par-3 No. 14. Scotto bogeyed No. 18 to finish at 4-over 76. Paladino, making his second straight NCAA Championships appearance, finished the first day 4-over par
"We can't make double-bogeys and we have to eliminate three putts," Priest said. "It's hard, but if we can go out and do what we did (Tuesday) and finish better, we'll be right in the hunt."
Round two of the 2010 NCAA Men's Golf Championship is scheduled to begin with the first wave of golfers at 6 a.m. CDT Wednesday. Baylor, along with No. 28 LSU and No. 30 Georgia Southern, will start the second round from the No. 10 tee at 12:47 p.m. CDT. Live scoring will be available at www.BaylorBears.com.
NCAA MEN'S GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS
TEAM RESULTS (TOP 15)
|t1.|| Oklahoma State||-5||283|
|t1.|| Florida State||-5||283|
|4.|| Texas A&M||-3||285|
|t5.|| Arizona State||-2||286|
|t7.|| Augusta State||-1||287|
|t10.|| Georgia Tech||+2||290|
|t12.|| Kent State||+4||292|
|t12.|| North Florida||+4||292|
INDIVIDUAL BAYLOR RESULTS