Ducks Struggle to 302 at First Round of NCAA West Regional

May 17, 2001

CORVALLIS, Ore. - If only the Oregon men's golf team could have skipped the 11th hole Thursday. The shortest par-4 on the course made for a long afternoon at the first round of the NCAA West Regional, being played at the 7,060-yard, par-72 Trysting Tree Golf Course.

The Ducks were a combined 6-over on the 324-yard par-4 11th, as the hole accounted for nearly half of Oregon's 14-over 302 total. Oregon finished the round tied for 21st place, but only nine strokes out of the all-important top 10. The top 10 teams from the West Regional advance to the NCAA Championships, May 30-June 2 at Duke.

'We've certainly got our work cut out for us,' said Oregon coach Steve Nosler. 'We've got to get after it tomorrow. We need to step up, play like we're capable of, and shoot a good score.'

Arizona State led at 5-under 283 after the first round, despite a 4-over 76 from U.S. Amateur champion Jeff Quinney, But his teammates picked up the Eugene native with rounds of 69, 70, 71 and 73 as the Sun Devils try for their third NCAA West Regional title in the last four years. ASU held a one-stroke edge over Stanford's 4-under 284. Wake Forest came in at even par 288, while Arizona, UCLA and San Diego State tied for fourth at 1-over 289. Oregon State was among a group of teams tied for seventh at 2-over 290. Pepperdine held down the pivotal 10th position after the first round with a 5-over 293.

Junior Brandon Harnden and sophomore John Ellis led the Ducks with 3-over 75s Thursday. Harnden, a native of Portland, was 6-over through 12, including a double-bogey on 11. But back-to-back birdies on 13 and 14 helped the team captain get back to 3-over for the round. Both Ellis and Harnden were 2-over on the front nine and 1-over on the backside.

'I made a lot of putts today and I'm pretty happy with that,' said Harnden. 'But that's about all I had going today. I know every one of us can easily drop a few strokes tomorrow.'

Junior Aaron Byers and sophomore Chris Carnahan, both from nearby Albany, Ore., and members of the 1997 West Albany High state championship team, each carded 76s on Thursday. Senior Matt Genovese had a 5-over 77 Thursday, but was 3-under par before a rough 5-over stretch between holes 8 and 11 left the Boulder, Colo., native disappointed.

UCLA's John Merrick was the individual leader at 5-under 67 and held a one-stroke advantage over Arizona State's Jin Park and Stanford's Philip Rowe.

As a team, the Ducks were a respectable 4-over at the turn before the disastrous No. 11. On Friday, Oregon will get a chance to confront its demons on the 11th almost immediately. The Ducks have an 8:15 a.m. tee time and will start their second round off the back nine Friday.

'The biggest problems we had were with the wind and No. 11,' said Harnden. 'We're not going to play 11 that poorly again, so we've got to remember that we're still in this thing. We need to put two good rounds together and that's what you need to get to nationals.'

NCAA West Regional
Trysting Tree Golf Course
Corvallis, Ore.
First Round
7,060 Yards, Par-72

TEAM SCORES - 1, Arizona State, 283. 2, Stanford, 284. 3, Wake Forest, 288. 4 (tie), Arizona, 289, UCLA, 289, San Diego State, 289. 7 (tie), Oregon State, 290, Washington, 290, UC Irvine, 290. 10, Pepperdine, 293. 11 (tie), Nevada-Las Vegas, 294, South Carolina, 294. 13 (tie), Austin Peay, 295, Detroit, 295. 15, Brigham Young, 296. 16 (tie), Tennessee, 297, Colorado State, 297. 18 (tie) USC, 298, Fresno State, 298, Pacific, 298. 21 (tie), Oregon, 302, California, 302, Nevada, 302, Weber State, 302. 25, New Mexico, 305. 26, Navy, 310. 27, Oral Roberts, 312.

OREGON FINISHERS - 74 (tie), John Ellis, 38-37-75, Brandon Harnden, 38-37-75. T92, Aaron Byers, 37-39-76, Chris Carnahan, 38-38-76. T106, Matt Genovese, 35-42-77.

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