Huskies Hold First Round Lead At Rainy West Regional

May 20, 2010

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BREMERTON, Wash. - The rain may have put a damper on the spirits of the participants in the NCAA Men's Golf West Regional at Bremerton's Gold Mountain Golf Course, but it couldn't discourage the hometown Washington Huskies from firing out of the gates on all cylinders.

The Huskies and the rest of the field waited out a 90-minute weather delay at the start of the tournament before taking to the course. Once they got there, Washington proved that home course familiarity would play a big part in first round success. Washington shot a collective 2-under-par 286 and was the only team to finish under par on the day.

'All-in-all a great day when you have a 73 and that is your throw out score,' said Husky coach Matt Thurmond. 'When you don't count anything over par on a day like today -- that is pretty awesome.'

Colorado State and Oregon State were tied for second behind Washington at +3 (291). Illinois was fourth at +5, followed by San Diego at +6. USC was the only other team under double-digits over par at +9.

Senior Darren Wallace led the way for Washington with a 2-under-par 70, which is good enough for third after day one. The 2009 PING third-team All-American carded six birdies on the day - somewhat of a surprise after he had struggled for much of the season.

'I was able to control my shots a little better today. I was making some putts too, which was nice,' said Wallace. 'It's been a while.'

Thurmond added, 'He has been struggling, and frustrated and he knows he can play better. We know he can play better. If Darren Wallace can play the way he can play, we're going to be really, really tough to beat.'

Wallace and two others are chasing first round leaders Dustin Moore from Colorado State and Espen Kofstad from Denver University, who each shot a 3-under 69.

Moore, who was seventh at the Mountain West Conference Championships, had five birdies on the day and an unfortunate bounce on a sprinkler head that forced him into a double bogey.

'Other than that hole, I played pretty good,' said Moore. 'I was hitting the ball great, I putted well and I even chipped a few balls in. I've been playing well all semester. I'm just trying to keep it going.'

Overall, all five Husky golfers finished the day within the top-15. Charlie Hughes, Nick Taylor and Richard Lee all shot even par 72's to tie for eighth, while Pac-10 Co-Freshman of the Year Chris Williams was tied for 14th at 1-over-par.

The Huskies will start teeing off for Friday's second round from the No. 1 tee starting at 9:10 a.m.

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