Toledo, OH – No. 1 seed Oklahoma State and No. 6 seed Georgia share the first-round lead following Tuesday’s action at the 2009 NCAA Men’s Golf Championships being hosted by the University of Toledo and the Inverness Course. Temperatures were in the low 60s during today’s play with a small amount of rain in the morning with winds picking up in intensity in the afternoon.
The Cowboys and Bulldogs both carded four-over par team scores of 288 on the par-71, 7,255-yard course to top a jam-packed leaderboard that has the top 14 teams in the field separated by a total of 10 strokes. Senior Trent Leon led OSU with an even-par 71, with senior Brian Harman and sophomore Russell Henley posting even-par rounds to pace Georgia.
“I’m pretty happy with the round,” OSU Head Coach Mike McGraw said. “Our first nine holes (on the back) were calm, sunny and warm and were the easier of the two nines. We lost around 8-12 shots on the back nine and it was a dramatic turnaround for us. We had a double, triple and a bogey on the par three but everybody behind us was doing the same.”
Georgia Head Coach Chris Haack said, “We survived Inverness and that’s all you can try to do out here. We played well and didn’t let anything crazy happen. It was a good round and we had four guys play solid for us. That’s what you have to have out here.”
Chattanooga set the pace in the morning flight and is in third place, four strokes behind the leaders with an eight-over par 292 with junior Fredrik Qvicker’s even-par 71 posting the Mocs' top score. There were just six scores of even par or better in the morning and just three under par, compared to nine at even par or better (five under par) in the afternoon.
North Carolina State sophomore Matt Hill, Illinois sophomore Scott Langley and Northwestern junior Jonathan Bowers are leading the field individually after posting two-under par 69s.
Texas A&M sophomore Conrad Shindler registered the lone hole-in-one on the day on the 200-yard No. 3 hole.
Tee times for the second round begin at 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday with the teams playing in the afternoon today going out early. Teams will play 18 holes on Thursday before cutting to eight teams for Friday’s match play. Tickets are available at the Inverness Club for $15.00 per day.
T1. Oklahoma State 288 (+4); T1. Georgia 288 (+4); 3. Chattanooga 292 (+8); T4. San Diego 293 (+9); T4. Washington 293 (+9); T6. Arizona State 294 (+10); T6. Ohio State 294 (+10); 8. Tennessee 295 (+11); 9. Michigan 296 (+12); T10. Arkansas 297 (+13); T10. Duke 297 (+13); T12. Texas A&M 298 (+14); T12. Alabama 298 (+14); T12. Northwestern 298 (+14); T15. Illinois 299 (+14); T15. TCU 299 (+15); 17. UCF 300 (+16); T18. Georgia Tech 301 (+17); T18. Iowa 301 (+17); 20. Wake Forest 302 (+18); 21. Texas Tech 303 (+19); T22. Southern Cal 305 (+21); T22. Stanford 305 (+21); T24. South Carolina 306 (+22); T24. Oregon 306 (+22); T24. Virginia 306 (+22); T24. UCLA 306 (+22); 28. Texas 308 (+24); T29. Florida 310 (+26); T29. Arizona 310 (+26)
Top 10 Individuals
T1. Jonathan Bowers (Northwestern) 69 (-2); T1. Scott Langley (Illinois) 69 (-2); T1. Matt Hill (N.C. State) 69 (-2); T4. Alex Ching 70 (-1); T4. Tom Hoge (TCU) 70 (-1); T4. Philip Francis (UCLA) 70 (-1); T4. David Holmes (Tennessee) 70 (-1); T4. Nick Taylor (Washington) 70 (-1); T9. Simon Ward (UCF) 71 (E); T9. Fredrik Qvicker (Chattanooga) 71 (E); T9. Corey Nagy (Charlotte) 71 (E); T9. Russell Henley (Georgia) 71 (E); T9. Trent Leon (Oklahoma State) 71 (E); T9. Jamie Marshall (Arkansas) 71 (E); T9. Brian Harman (Georgia) 71 (E)
Oklahoma State Head Coach Mike McGraw
“I’m pretty happy with the round. It was a tale of two stories. Our first nine holes (on the back) were calm, sunny and warm and were the easier of the two nines. We lost around 8-12 shots on the back nine and it was a dramatic turnaround for us. We had a double, triple and a bogey on the par three but everybody behind us was doing the same.”
“It was a hard nine holes of golf on a championship golf course with the wind blowing a lot harder. It wasn’t going to be very easy. We finished well the last 2-3 holes and that was good for us.”
Georgia Head Coach Chris Haack
“We survived Inverness and that’s all you can try to do out here. We played well and didn’t let anything crazy happen. It was a good round and four guys play solid for us. That’s what you have to have out here.”
(on the change of format affecting team’s mindset)
“I’m sure there is a little bit of that but our goal is to go out there and win. If we’re in the hunt to win the top eight will take care of itself.”
(on the course)
“I think this golf course test all aspects of your game. You have to hit your irons well and putt pretty well. Fortunately for us we have five experienced guys and hopefully that experience will pay off. The wind picked up and it was very tough out there. Judging by the scores out there you know that at any given time the course can rise up and bite you.
Jonathan Bowers, Northwestern
“I really played well today. I hit it straight and greens. When I struggled I was able to get it up and down for par. I even had a good bogey out there and was fortunate to make a few birdies as well.”
(on how the course played)
“It’s tough to say because we played in the morning. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Some of the pins were pretty accessible because the rain softened things up. It didn’t play quite as firm and fast as it did in the practice round. It will be interesting to see how it plays in the afternoon.”
Tom Hoge, TCU
“I’ve been hitting it pretty well lately. I had a pretty good run going until finishing my round with a triple on No. 9. If you can just hit the greens and get some short putts you can get a lot of good lucks at birdies."
(did the rain help with softening the greens)
“The greens were holding pretty well. You could be pretty aggressive out there if you put the ball in the fairway.”
(did making a triple on No. 9 leave you disappointed with your round)
“It’s a long golf tournament and one hole isn’t going to kill you. It’s a little frustrating to leave some shots out there on the last hole, but I know we have a lot of work to do.”
Scott Langley, Illinois
“I played pretty steady and got off to a good start. I had a little bit of speed bump in the middle of the round but I told myself that’s going to happen here because it’s such a tough course. I told myself to hang in there and I made a couple of birdies coming in. It’s tough out there and with these conditions it made it even harder. I just kept telling myself I can make birdies out here.”
Matt Hill, North Carolina State
(on bogeying the 18th hole)
“I feel like I put myself in really good position and I was happy with the way I played. It was tough finishing with a bogey but I have a lot of confidence going into tomorrow. The wind was tough and I just tried to hit some low shots. I hit my driver maybe five or six times and tried to keep it out of the wind as much as possible.”