LAS VEGAS – Cameron Wilson used his Texas wedge from the fringe to eagle the 18th Friday at Southern Highlands Golf Club to finish with a team-best even-par 72. Behind Wilson’s shining short game, Stanford is fourth at 9-over 297 while host UNLV leads the 15-team field with a 1-under through the first day of the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters.
Sitting only two shots behind co-leaders Wyndham Clark (Oklahoma State) and Carl Johnson (UNLV), Wilson is tied for sixth among individuals. Five of 80 players finished in the red as the wind altered many scores throughout the day.
Patrick Rodgers and Viraat Badhwar checked in at 2-over with David Boote logging a 5-over 77.
The three-day, 54-hole event continues Saturday morning.
“The course was firmer and faster today than in our practice round, and played tougher as winds were consistently around 20-25 miles per hour,” said Conrad Ray, the Knowles Family Director of Men’s Golf. “Wilson hung in there and played great. There was a bobble in the middle of his round, but he kept hitting good shots and was rewarded at the end with his eagle on 18.”
The front nine for Wilson featured a birdie on the par-5 third. The lefty started the back nine with double bogey on 10 and bogeys on each of the next two holes. Wilson collected himself with a birdie on 16 before shutting the door with an eagle.
Rodgers, the tournament’s defending champion, started bogey-bogey-triple. The first three holes were not an indicator of the rest of his day, as he played the next 15 at 3-under.
Boote kept it cool with a 1-over on the front, but had five bogeys on the back nine before closing with a birdie on the final hole.
Badhwar played the front nine at 1-over and recorded a par on the first eight holes of the back half until a bogey on 18 left him at 74.
“This was Viraat’s first taste of big-time tournament golf,” Ray said. “You could tell he’s experienced, as he held himself together really well.”
Jim Liu was 9-over heading into the final hole and eagled the par-5, 603-yard 18th to finish with a 7-over 79.