May 16, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio - After firing a seven-over-par 291, Stanford checked in third during the first round of the NCAA D1 Men's Golf Regional hosted by Ohio State on Thursday at the Scarlet Course.
The No. 10 (Golfweek) Cardinal trailed four strokes off No. 68 Charlotte, who leads the tournament at 287. For second, No. 23 South Carolina posted a 288.
One stroke behind Stanford in fourth was No. 30 UNLV at 292, while Auburn rounded out the top five at 293.
"We didn't play our best round today but we didn't play horribly," said The Knowles Family Director of Men's Golf Conrad Ray. "Teams who make it will play more consistently."
Tied for fourth, Cameron Wilson led the Cardinal with a one-under-par 70. The junior fired an early birdie on the par-4 third hole and went one under through 14 holes.
“I hit the ball very well today and stayed out of trouble,” Wilson said. “It was frustrating to par so many holes, especially as I gave myself some good birdie chances. However there are some pretty tough holes out here and making pars will gain shots on the field, even if some chances are missed.”
Wilson went on to make another birdie on the par-4 15th to go two under, but gave one shot back after a bogey on the 17th.
“On 15, I played aggressively from the tee and challenged the fairway bunker on the corner,” Wilson continued. “From there I had a great angle and hit a wedge to four feet. [Then] on 17, I hit a poor shot that wound up shortsided in a bunker. I hit a good shot out to seven feet but missed the putt.”
“If you look at the scores, keeping it even par is good,” said Ray about a round where three Cardinal players shot lower than the average score of 75.05. “We didn’t have any wind today and if the wind starts to blow tomorrow, it’ll change the scoring.”
Two shots behind Wilson was Patrick Rodgers, who tied for 10th at 72. Rodgers opened with a birdie on the first and fourth holes to go two under. Then a streak of bogeys on the fifth, seventh and eighth pushed him back at one over through the front nine.
"All three holes I flagged irons and flew the green," Rodgers said. "The ball was going a long way today and I had to make the adjustment."
A birdie on the 10th, however, placed Rodgers even. After paring the next three holes, the sophomore had back-to-back bogeys on 14 and 15. He gained a stroke with a birdie on the par-4 16th.
"These greens are really tricky, and I got fooled with a read on 14 and speed on 15 and 3-putted both greens," Rodgers continued. "I kept telling myself that I was playing well and if I could get three more birdie putts to finish the day that I would make one of them. On 16, I hit a wedge to about 12 feet and made a nice putt to bounce back a bit."
Steve Kearney managed to go even through 14 holes.
“I hit my driver really straight today,” Kearney said. “I hit most of the fairways. I also scrambled really well and made a lot of ten footers for par.”
Kearney, a senior, tied for 16th with a 73 after a late double bogey on the 15th.
“I hit into the trees and had to punch out,” Kearney continued. “My 50 yard wedge shot landed next to the hole but rolled off the back into a tough lie and I couldn’t get up and down.”
“Steven played pretty well and just had some bad luck on 15,” said Ray who followed Kearney through the round. “He made some great putts for par saves.”
The Cardinal tees off with Charlotte and South Carolina off the first hole at 6:10 a.m. (PT). Live scoring is on Tournament Central page.
"The golf course is playing tough and is very demanding," Rodgers said. "I'm sure the greens will be quicker, the pins tougher and the rough is only getting longer. It's not a course that you can go out with a number in mind. It requires diligence and patience on each shot, and hopefully after 18 good holes we can move up the board a bit."
Six 54-hole regional competitions will be conducted with 13 teams and 10 individuals at three regionals while the other three regionals will have 14 teams and five individuals. The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each regional will advance to the finals at The Capital City Club, Crabapple Course hosted by Georgia Tech on May 28-June 2.
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