Byers Tied for Fifth, but Ducks Founder in NCAA Opening Round

May 16, 2002

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Aaron Byers' 2-under 70 on Thursday helped keep Oregon in contention for a bid to the NCAA Championships, but the Ducks have a lot of work ahead of them in the next two rounds of the NCAA West Regional, being played at the 7,368-yard, par 72 South Champions Course.

As a team, the 11th-seeded Ducks shot a 12-over 300 and were 16th after the first round. The good news is that Oregon is just six strokes out of tenth place; the top 10 teams and two individuals from Albuquerque will advance to the NCAA Championships May 29-June 1 in Columbus, Ohio.

Jason Hartwick led Texas to the first-day lead with a 4-under 68. The No. 2 seed Longhorns shot a 285, four strokes better than eighth-seeded San Diego State's 289. Fresno State, Minnesota and 17th-seeded Nevada-Las Vegas were tied for third at 290, while Washington stood sixth at 291. Arizona and Pepperdine were tied for seventh at 292, New Mexico was ninth at 293 and Pacific and top-seeded USC shared tenth at 294.

Byers' 70 was tied for fifth with eight other golfers - among them Oregon State's David Yarnes - two strokes back of Hartwick. The senior from Albany, Ore., was one shot off his lowest round in an NCAA regional and had five birdies and three bogeys on the day. Pepperdine's Jason Allred, UNLV's Brandon Askew and Minnesota's David Morgan shared second at 3-under 69.

Beyond Byers, the Ducks were forced to count 74s from junior John Ellis and senior Brandon Harnden. Sophomore Mike Sica and junior Chris Carnahan shot a disappointing 78s Thursday.

Oregon will start its second round at 8:15 a.m. Friday morning.

NCAA West Regional
South Champions Course
Albuquerque, N.M.
First Round
7,368 Yards, Par 72

TEAM SCORES - 1, Texas, 285. 2, San Diego State, 289. 3 (tie), Fresno State, 290; Minnesota, 290; Nevada-Las Vegas, 290. 6, Washington, 291. 7 (tie), Arizona, 292; Pepperdine, 292; 9, New Mexico, 293. 10 (tie), Pacific, 294; USC, 294. 12, Ohio State, 295. 13, UCLA, 296. 14, Texas Tech, 298. 15, Nevada, 299; 16, Oregon, 300. 17 (tie), Brigham Young, 301; Illinois State, 301. 19 (tie), Detroit, 302; Washington State, 302. 21, Stanford, 303. 22, Arizona State, 304. 23, UC Irvine, 307. 24, California, 308. 25, Central Connecticut State, 313. 26, Colorado State, 314. 27, Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis, 315.

TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS - 1, Jason Hartwick, Texas, 68. 2 (tie), Jason Allred, Pepperdine, 69; Brandon Askew, Nevada-Las Vegas, 69; David Morgan, Minnesota, 69. 5 (tie), Aaron Byers, Oregon, 70; David Yarnes, Oregon State, 70; Ricky Barnes, Arizona, 70; Jonathon Echols, Fresno State, 70; Matt Hansen, Pacific, 70; Dustin Smith, Fresno State, 70; Justin Smith, Minnesota, 70; Russell Surber, Texas, 70; J.J. Wall, Texas, 70.

OTHER OREGON FINISHERS - 77 (tie), John Ellis, 76; Brandon Harnden, 76. 105 (tie), Mike Sica, 78; Chris Carnahan, 78.

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