Arvidson Leads Men's Golf At NCAA Championships
May 30, 2001
DURHAM, N.C. - The fact that all five Oregon State men's golfers areplaying in their first NCAA Championship didn't translate into a jitterystart, as some may have expected for Wednesday's opening round. The group ofAnthony Arvidson, David Yarnes, Michael Jurgensen, Daren Grieg and DavidWilliams took advantage of their early 7 a.m. start and made the turn in4-under to get their round off to a scorching start at the par-72,7,088-yard Duke University Golf Club on Wednesday in Durham, North Carolina.
The Beavers shot 7-over 295 and stand tied with South Carolina for11th place, in position to make the 15th-place cut after Thursday's secondround. OSU is ahead of several nationally-ranked teams, including No. 1Georgia, Pac-10 rival and No. 5 Arizona State, No. 9 North Carolina State,and No. 16 Oklahoma State. OSU also leads Pac-10 schools Stanford, UCLA andWashington.
The Beavers, paired with Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech for thefirst two rounds, are scheduled to tee off at noon on No. 10 for Thursday'ssecond round, and need to be in the top 15 at the end of the day to advanceto the final two rounds on Friday and Saturday. Of the 30 teams competing,15 will go home after the second round.
'It's the first time for all five players in the nationalchampionship arena, and to be able to come out and get off to as good astart as they did, you have to be very proud of that from a coachingstandpoint,' OSU head coach Mike Ketcham said.
'You really can't ask for more than that,' Ketcham said of histeam's start. 'To say last night that I knew we were going to turn at4-under and be 5-under at one point on the front nine, obviously I wouldhave been very happy with that, and I was today.'
Arvidson, rising to the occasion as he has all year, gave theBeavers a steadying presence and the team's low score for the day with his1-under 71 to tie for ninth.
Playing the number-one position, Arvidson, who was the last Beaverto tee off Wednesday morning, took advantage of the soft greens and openfairways on the front nine to post a 2-under 34. The senior birdied thepar-4 fifth hole and dropped a 10 footer for birdie on the monstrously long572-yard par-5 seventh. The only blemish on his scorecard came on the par-514th, where he took a six.
'I love seeing red numbers out there, I feel less pressure whenwe're under par than when we're over par,' Arvidson said of his team'sprominent position on the course leaderboards after the front nine. 'I feellike we have it going already, and all we need to do is keep making birdies.It didn't happen that way today, but these are young guys and it's our firsttime in a national championship. We shouldn't be too disappointed with howwe played today, but we did lose it a little bit on the backside and we'reworking on that.'
As for tomorrow's round, focusing on the task at hand will becrucial.
'I'm just going to go out - and this sounds commercial - and take itone shot at a time,' Arvidson said of the strategy for Thursday. 'I'll trynot to get too far ahead of myself and to put the ball in the right spots onthe greens.'
Michael Jurgensen also pounded the front nine for a 34, cardingbirdies on one of each of the par-three, -four and -fives. The tighter backnine came up and bit the sophomore, as it did most of the team, as Jurgensenbogied four of the final nine holes for a 40. His 2-over 74 puts him in atie for 45th in the 156-player field.
Yarnes' 75 equaled that of teammate Williams, but Yarnes' score wasperhaps more impressive considering his bogey-bogey start. The junior pulledhis game together in time to birdie the par-3 fourth and collect anotherbirdie on the par-5 ninth after a third bogey on seven. A tough day off thetee put the pressure on Yarnes to scramble and sink some putts to save par,and he came through in the short game.
Williams' 75 started off with an even-par 36 on the front nine,which included just one birdie and one bogey. With five consecutive parsafter the turn, the freshman looked poised to turn in a low number, but thetreacherously long stretch of holes 15-18 reclaimed three strokes withbogies on the 216-yard par-3 15th, 17th and 18th.
Grieg suffered a similar fate on the back nine after a solid 36going out, as the redshirt freshman shot 42 coming home for a 78 on the day.
The weather cooperated for the field Wednesday, as temperaturesreached into the upper 70's and clear skies were the norm. More of the sameis the forecast for Thursday, but Thunderstorms loom on the horizon forFriday.
The Beavers shot a combined 11-over on the back nine, which was duein part to the tighter fairways and also to a bit of a dropoff inconcentration.
'The back nine here is no doubt two or three shots harder than thefront nine,' Ketcham commented. 'We have to do a better job of staying inthe present over the last four holes of the round. That comes withinexperience and it comes with young guys. We just had a team meeting andaddressed some issues on that particular topic, and I think if you see us inthat situation in the next three days, we'll do a better job of getting itoff the golf course.
'I felt like, turning at 4-under, if we could post a 288 or 289,that would have been very acceptable and a very good score,' Ketcham added.'However, 295 is what it is. I don't think we shot ourselves in the foot byany means, but we need to go out tomorrow and find a way to shoot 288 or 289and let the chips fall where they may.'
Arizona leads the team competition after posting an 8-under 280,well ahead of second-place Georgia Tech at 289.
Kris Mekkelsen of Georgia Tech shot a morning round of 66, which wastied later by Arizona's Chris Nallen in the afternoon. Their 66's were oneshot off the course record.
1. Arizona 280
2. Georgia Tech 289
t3. Augusta State 292
t3. Toledo 292
5. East Tennessee State 293
t6. Clemson 294
t6. Wake Forest 294
t6. Coll.of Charleston 294
t6. Oklahoma 294
t6. Virginia Tech 294
t11. SouthCarolina 295
t11. Oregon State 295
t13. Mississippi 296
t13. Georgia 296
t19. NC State 298
t19. Arizona State 298
t19. SMU 298
t22. UCLA 299
24. Oklahoma State 300
25. Washington 301
26. GeorgiaSouthern 302
27. Houston 304
28. UC-Irvine 306
t29. Purdue 310
t29. KentState 310.
LOW INDIVIDUAL SCORES (par 72)
t1. Kris Mikkelsen, Georgia Tech, 33-33--66
t1. Chris Nallen, Arizona33-33--66
3. Ricky Barnes, Arizona, 33-35--68
t4. Michael Webb, AugustaState 36-33--69
t4. Nick Gilliam, Florida 34-35--69.