Bruins Tied for 16th after Opening Day at The Honors Course
June 1, 2010
The UCLA men's golf team began the 113th NCAA Men's Golf Championship lodged in the middle of the pack looking up at 15 teams with better scores and thankful that a late surge gave it some momentum for Wednesday's second round at The Honors Course in Chattanooga, TN.
The sixth-ranked Bruins posted a team score of 294 (+6) over the 7,395-yard course and were tied with four other teams. Fourth-ranked Oklahoma State and No. 11 Florida State took the opening round lead at five-under par 283. Top-ranked Oregon was third at 284 (-4), followed by Texas A&M at 285 (-3) and fifth-place Arizona State and Clemson at two-under 286. Florida and Augusta State were the remaining teams under par at 287 (-1).
After 54 holes, the top eight teams advance to match play to decide the national champion in three rounds of head-to-head competition.
'We struggled,' said UCLA Head Coach Derek Freeman. 'It was a tough first round for us, but we battled at the very end. We played well over the last four or five holes. That was nice. We needed that. To have any chance to get into the final eight, we needed to play well and stop [the] bleeding and we did that. So I'm really pleased with that. We've got to come out tomorrow morning and play well.'
Holes seven and nine were particularly detrimental to the Bruins' scores on Tuesday. UCLA was a collective 12-over par on those par 4s, accumulating five double-bogeys. Hole number seven ranked as the third toughest hole in the first round. The ninth ranked 10th.
Freshman Pontus Widegren managed to navigate both holes in even par and went out in four-under par 32. He bogeyed his first three holes on the inward nine, then birdied two of his last three holes for a three-under par 69 and a share of third place.
'I got off to a good start, made a good 10-footer for par on my first hole after hitting it long,' said Widegren. 'It was nice to keep it going and get it off to a good start. I birdied four of my first eight, which was really good. Then, I had a bad stretch at 10, 11 and 12, [where] I made three bogies. But apart from that it was a good round.'
Sophomore Gregor Main rallied from a three-over par front side, including a double-bogey at the ninth, and made four birdies on the back nine for a one-under par 71. He was tied for 25th.
Sophomore Alex Shi Yup Kim posted a 76 (+4) and was tied for 103rd. Freshman Pedro Figueiredo was tied for 129th after carding a score of 78 (+6) and freshman Mario Clemens, playing in his first NCAA championship, was tied for 146th following a first round 80 (+8).
Second round action continues on Wednesday with the Bruins teeing off from the 10th hole beginning at 8:07 EDT.
For complete results, click here.