The NCAA Division I men’s regionals got underway Thursday at six sites around the country. The low five teams in each regional after Saturday’s final round will advance to the May 28-June 3 NCAA Championship at Concession Golf Club in Florida.
Here are the first-round results from the Chapel Hill (N.C.), Noblesville (Ind.), Yale (Conn.), Lubbock (Texas), San Diego (Calif.) and Bremerton (Wash.) regionals. Live scoring on Golfstat.com can be found here.
Chapel Hill Regional, at Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill, N.C.:
Leader: Charlotte (-13)
Second place: Florida (-7)
Individual leader: Will Register, North Carolina (-6)
Rest of the top 5: Florida State (-4), Clemson (-4), North Carolina (-2)
Work to do: Kennesaw State (-1), Stanford (+2), Penn State (+4), Wake Forest (+6)
Skinny: Charlotte might be the 50th-ranked team entering regionals, but it sure didn’t play like it Thursday. Three 49ers players shot 68 in the opening round. The Gators, coming off a seventh-place showing at SECs, also were a surprise in Round 1, counting three scores of 70 or better. Most of the higher-seeded teams got off to a decent start, but fourth-seeded Wake Forest has the most work to do. The Demon Deacons were forced to use a 76 Thursday after No. 2 Davis Womble shot 5 over.
New Haven Regional, at The Course at Yale in New Haven, Conn.:
Leader: South Florida (+1)
Second place: Ohio State (+2)
Individual leader: Rigel Fernandes, South Florida (-6)
Rest of the top 5: San Diego State (+4), Vanderbilt (+5), Oklahoma State (+9)
Work to do: Troy (+9), N.C. State (+9), Iowa (+11), LSU (+14)
Skinny: Only four players broke par on Day 1 here. Not surprisingly, no team finished the first round under par, with South Florida – which is hosting this year’s NCAAs – leading the way. Fernandes’ eight-birdie 64 was four shots better than any other score on Day 1. Second-seeded LSU struggled mightily in the opening round, with no player recording a round under 73. As a team, the Tigers only recorded six birdies.
Noblesville Regional, at Sagamore Golf Club in Noblesville, Ind:
Leader: Colorado (-11)
Second place: Illinois and SMU (-3)
Individual leader: Benjamin Baxter, SMU; David Oraee, Colorado; Jeremy Paul, Colorado all at -4
Rest of the top 5: UCLA (+5), UNLV (+7)
Work to do: Oregon (+9), Alabama (+10), Georgia Southern (+13), Virginia Tech (+21)
Skinny: Colorado, which hasn’t reached an NCAA finals since 2002, got off to a torrid start here with all four players under par after Day 1 and their top two - Paul and Ocaee - as the co-leaders. Can the Buffaloes keep it up? This is a ninth-seeded team coming off an 11th-place showing at the Pac-12 Championship, but it is now 20 shots clear of the sixth-place team. Two-time defending NCAA champion Alabama will begin the second round in seventh place, after a 10-over start. No. 1 man Robby Shelton shot 74 on Day 1. Only 13 players broke par in the first round here.
Lubbock Regional, at the Rawls Course in Lubbock, Texas:
Leader: Texas (-11)
Second place: Houston (-10)
Individual leader: Austin Eoff, Purdue (-6)
Rest of the top 5: Duke (-8), Texas Tech (-6), Purdue and California (-5)
Work to do: Auburn (-4), Louisville (-1), North Florida (+7)
Skinny: No surprise, top-seeded Texas continued to roll with four players shooting 69 or better, including a 66 out of lead man Beau Hossler. The Blue Devils got solid 67s from Jake Shuman and Turner Southey-Gordon, Duke's Nos. 3 and 4, respectively. This is a tightly bunched leaderboard, with nine teams separated by nine shots.
Bremerton Regional, at Gold Mountain in Bremerton, Wash.:
Leader: UAB (-8)
Second place: TCU and USC (-7)
Individual leader: Sean Crocker, USC (-6)
Rest of the top 5: Iowa State and Washington (-1)
Work to do: South Carolina (E), UC Davis (+1), Michigan (+4), Baylor (+5)
Skinny: Solid opening rounds from Paul Dunne (67) and Martin Rohwer (68) put the Blazers atop the leaderboard after Day 1. They’ve been playing better of late, with a pair of wins and a second-place showing at the Conference USA Championship in their past three starts. USC’s Sean Crocker, one of the nation’s top freshmen, closed with six consecutive birdies for a back-nine 30 and opening 66. That leaves him one shot clear of Hogan Award finalist Cheng-Tsung Pan, who is playing on one of Washington’s home courses. Top seed South Carolina flew all the way across the country, but a solid opening round in which the Gamecocks took no higher than a 73 leaves them in good shape heading into the second round.
San Diego Regional, at The Farms Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.:
Leader: Oklahoma (-4)
Second place: East Tennessee State (+1)
Individual leader: Grant Hirschman, Oklahoma; Gudmundur Kristjansson, East Tennessee State; Grant Bennett, Wichita State all at -3
Rest of the top 5: Wichita State (+4), St. Mary’s (+7), San Diego and Virginia (+9)
Work to do: Georgia Tech (+11), Eastern Kentucky (+11), Arizona State (+13), New Mexico (+15), Georgia (+19)
Skinny: So much for chalk here. Oklahoma has three players inside the top 6 individually as it looks to qualify for its fifth consecutive NCAA finals, but not much else went according to plan. Fortunately for top seeds Arizona State and Georgia Tech, poor first rounds leave them only a handful of shots behind the all-important fifth spot. Arizona State’s Jon Rahm, still in contention for national player of the year honors, mixed seven birdies with two doubles and a triple during an opening 73 that left him four back. Three of the top five teams on the leaderboard are the lowest seeds in the regional.