Husky Men's Golf Opens Early NCAA Regional Lead
May 14, 2009
ALVATON, Ky. - Despite having a target on its back as the tournament's top-seed, the University of Washington men's golf team cruised to a 10-stroke lead after the first round of the NCAA Central Regional at The Club at Olde Stone today.
The sixth-ranked Huskies shot a first round six-under-par 282 to lead the 14-team field. Seventh-ranked Georgia Tech and No. 19 UCLA are tied for second-place with a four-over-par 292. The top five finishers after three 18-hole rounds advance to the NCAA Championships May 26-30 in Toledo, Ohio.
'These guys never cease to amaze me,' said UW head coach Matt Thurmond. 'We had such a great day. I did not think it was possible for any team today to shoot a round that low, considering the conditions. I thought if any team shot even-par, it would be amazing.'
UW junior Nick Taylor leads the 75-player field after shooting a five-under-par 67. The Abbotsville, B.C. native registered five birdies and did not bogey a hole during his round. He did, however, roll-in a 15-footer on No. 12 then made a 25-foot putt on No. 16 to save par. Taylor, last year's NCAA runner-up, ended the day with a two-stroke lead over Georgia Tech's Cameron Tringale.
'I started out playing good, but not spectacular,' said Taylor, who current ranks ninth nationally as an individual. 'But, fortunately I was able to take advantage of my birdie opportunities and I made a couple of long putts for par. '
Husky junior Richard Lee is tied for third-place with a two-under-par 70, while Pac-10 champion Darren Wallace is tied for 10th with an even-par 72. Chris Killmer is tied for 12th at plus-one and Tze Huang Choo is tied for 30th with a three-over-par 75.
Washington was scheduled to tee-off at 8:30 a.m., but the start to the tournament was delayed approximately 90 minutes due to inclement weather. During Tuesday's practice round, the conditions were windy and dry. After rain fell during the evening and into the early morning, the course softened up and made the greens a bit easier to navigate.
'I thought the course played a lot easier than it did yesterday after the wind died-down and the rain softened the greens a bit. As a team, I thought we played great. Our high score being a 75, on this course, is a bit of a surprise.'