Men's Golf 11 Shots Off Lead After First Day of NCAA Championships
May 30, 2007
Arizona State University (#13 Golfstat/#18 Golfweek) is tied for 17th after the first round of the 110th NCAA Men's Golf Championships held at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Course (par-70, 6,803 yards) in Williamsburg, Va. ASU shot a 6-over 286 but is just 11 shots off the lead and just nine strokes out of second place.
Stanford, who has won seven NCAA titles (1938, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1946, 1953 and 1994) leads the field with a 5-under 275 and is trying to become the third Pac-10 team to win the title in 13 years, joining ASU (1996) and Cal (2004) from 1995-2007. Pac-10 members UCLA (1988) and Arizona (1992) also won NCAA titles.
'Considering Niklas (Lemke) was 3-over through three holes and Ben (Alvarado Holley) was 2-over through five holes, we made up some ground and played well after a tough start,' noted head coach Randy Lein. 'We have three players competing in their first NCAA Championship and they now have a taste of what to expect. As a team we totaled 7-over in the first five holes but bounced back.
'Both Niklas and Benjamin are in the mix after day one. I expect strong second rounds from each of them. There are a lot of good teams playing and we will have to stay around par to have a chance entering the final rounds. I am confident we will do that and look forward to the the next three days.'
Defending NCAA champion Oklahoma State is tied for 18th (287), Pac-10 champion USC is tied for 22nd (289), Arizona is 24th (290) and 2007 NCAA West Regional Champion South Carolina is 25th (291).
ASU senior and 2007 co-Pac-10 Player of the Year Niklas Lemke shot 1-under 69 and is tied for 15th after bogeying his first three holes of the day. He then birdied four of his final 13 holes. Lemke is the nation's second-ranked player according to Golfstat and is seventh in the Golfweek rankings. Entering the NCAA Championships, he has posted a 69.88 stroke average in 11 tournaments this year, just shy of the school mark set by Paul Casey in 1999-2000 (69.87). Lemke earned medalist honors at the 2006 Illini Invitational (Sept. 24-25) and at the 2007 National Invitational (April 2-3). He has eight top-five finishes on the year and 14 top-10 finishes in his 47-tournament career (72.11 stroke average). He earned third-team All-America honors last year and honorable mention in 2005.
Sophomore Benjamin Alvarado Holley also shot a 1-under 69. After earning honorable mention All-American honors last year by finishing 20th at the NCAA Championships and notching a 72.50 stroke average (fifth-best by a freshmen in ASU history), he has posted four straight top-10 finishes and is at 40-under par in that time (13 rounds).
Rob Grube of Stanford leads the field at 6-under 64, but both Lemke and Alvarado Holley are just one shot out of a eight-player tie for seventh.
ASU's three other players all shot 4-over 74 as they are tied for 107th. Freshman Tristan Bierenbroodspot, who had two birdies, entered the tournament with a 70.86 stroke average in his previous 14 rounds and has a 72.21 stroke average in six events on the year.
Senior Fredrik Andersson also shot a 4-over 74 as did freshman Knut Borsheim. Andersson entered the tournament with a 74.12 stroke average in eight events on the year and shot a career-best 68 in the first round of the NCAA West Regional May 17 at ASU's Karsten Golf Course.
Live scoring is available at www.golfstat.com.
The Sun Devils have won two NCAA titles, in 1990 under then-head coach and 2002 ASU Hall of Fame inductee Steve Loy, and in 1996 under current head coach Randy Lein. In the past 14 years (since Lein took over the ASU duties) ten different team champions have been crowned and Lein is the only coach to have two individual champions in that time (Alejandro Canizares in 2003 and Todd Demsey in 1993). ASU also has finished in the top six eight times in those 14 years and has qualified for the NCAA Championships in 23 of the past 24 seasons, missing only in 2002, including each of the past five seasons.
UNDER COACH LEIN: ASU has finished first (1996), fourth (1995), fifth (1998 and 1999), tied for fifth (1997), sixth (1993, 2001 and 2003), tied for ninth (1994), tied for 11th (2005 and 2007), tied for 21st (2004) and tied for 25th (2001) under 15th-year coach Randy Lein in the NCAA Championship.
NCAA CHAMPS FROM PAC-10: ASU has had four NCAA medalists on six occasions: Jim Carter (1983), Phil Mickelson (1989, 1990, 1992), Todd Demsey (1993) and Alejandro Canizares (2003). Other Pac-10 winners include: Frank Tatum Jr. of Stanford (1942), Scott Simpson of USC (1976 and 1977), Ron Commans of USC (1981), Tiger Woods of Stanford (1996) and James Lepp of Washington (2005).
FAST FACT: ASU is the only school to win both the men's and women's golf titles in the same season (1990).