Ducks Go Deep on Historic Day at Ka’anapali Classic
LAHAINA, Maui – The No. 2 Oregon men’s golf team didn’t need to shake off any cobwebs with a month off in between tournaments as they went deep on Friday at the Ka’anapali Classic with a program record breaking 30-under 254. The Ducks’ opening round card of 30-under smashed the record that was set in 2009 (17-under 267) by a whopping 13 strokes.
The Ducks' 30-under 254 was also an NCAA single round record according to Lance Ringler of Golfweek and Mark Laesch of Golfstat.
“I think we were more anxious than anything else,” said junior Brandon McIver when asked whether there was any pressure with the time off.
UO had some early competition from Kansas and No. 32 North Florida, but once Oregon hit the turn, there was no looking back as the Ducks shot an impressive 17-under in their final nine holes as a team on the par-71, 6,700 yards Royal Ka’anapali Course.
Jonathan Woo paced UO to start the round, sinking six birdies of his first seven holes, but it was McIver and Hurly Long who paced the Ducks as each went 5-under on the back nine.
McIver jumped Woo to take the overall individual lead with a long eagle on the par-5 first hole followed by a birdie on the par-4 fourth hole to wrap up the day at 9-under 62. Woo, finished the day with a 63, tying him for second with Connor Campbell of Loyola Marymount and Joey Petronio of North Florida.
“We just tried to keep the ball in play,” said McIver. “The way the course is set up, if you can keep the ball in play, you will have a pretty good chance for birdie.”
Zach Foushee and McIver both had a perfect day on the links, going bogey-less. Foushee sank back-to-back birdies on the third and fourth holes to finish with a 7-under 64 card, putting him in a tie for fifth.
Like everyone else, Long had a great day on the links himself, finishing with five birdies in his final six holes for a 65 and sits in a tie for seventh. Aaron Wise sits in a tie for eighth at 66 thanks to his eagle on the par-5 sixth hole to finish the day 5-under.
What It Means: Oregon holds a commanding 15 stroke lead over its nearest competitor in North Florida, who also had a player fire an 8-under 63. With all five players in the starting lineup in the top 10, the Ducks are primed to rewrite the Oregon record books by weekend’s end.
Beyond the Scorecard: McIver’s first round card of 62 tied the Oregon record for lowest round score with Daniel Miernicki (2010-11) and Derek Sipe, Jr. (2006-07). However, Miernicki’s score was played on par-72 and Sipe’s score was carded on a par-70 course compared to the Royal Ka’anapali par-71 course. McIver’s 9-under card relative to par also ties him for second in the record books with Jimmy White (2003-04) who played on par-72 course at Trysting Tree. His round of 62 also tied him for third all-time in the Pac-12 record books.
Odds and Ends: The Ducks were perfect on the back nine as a team, firing in 14 birdies. ... Oregon led all teams on the Par-3s (-6, 2.70) average and Par-4s (-18, 3.67). ... UO also led the field with 30 birdies and four eagles, two of which belonged to McIver. ... The course average after one round was just under par at 70.51.
Quoteworthy: “We had an incredible round today,” said head coach Casey Martin. “Everyone took advantage of the low winds and easier conditions. This is shaping up to be a special group.”
The Ducks will resume play tomorrow on the Royal Ka’anapali Golf Course with a 10 a.m. (PT) tee time and will play alongside No. 32 UNF, Kansas and No. 27 Clemson.