Men's Golf sits in third place after opening round at NCAA Championship
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- No. 28 Texas shot a two-under 278 to end Wednesday's opening round tied for third place at the 30-team NCAA Men's Golf Championship at the par 70, 6,803-yard Gold course at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club.
The Longhorns are tied for third place with Minnesota and Florida after the first of four rounds. Second-ranked Stanford leads the event after posting a five-under 275 in round one. The Cardinal's Rob Grube leads individually after carding a six-under 64.
"I thought the guys did a great job today," UT head coach John Fields said. "We had a little bit of a rough start but we navigated through that, got it going midway through the round and closed well. I was really proud of them."
Senior Matt Bortis got the Longhorns off to a solid start on day one with a two-under 68. Bortis started slowly with bogeys on two of his first three holes, but he rebounded with a birdie at the fifth hole. Bortis (Springfield, Mo.) sank one more bogey at No. 6, but he was error-free the rest of the way.
After stroking a 36 on the front nine, Bortis charged through the back nine with a 32 on the strength of three birdies. He ended the first round tied for seventh place.
"Matt got off to a rough start, but he was very patient," Fields said. "He worked his way through the day and played very solid golf. He made some great putts out there. It was nice to have that kind of leadership."
Freshman Lance Lopez started round one with a birdie and added two more on the front nine to head into the turn with a 33. Lopez (Missouri City, Texas) added one more birdie and finished with a 36 on the back nine, ending the day in a tie for 15th place at one-under par.
"Lance got off to a good start with a birdie on the first hole, and he was into it the whole day," Fields said. "He played very solid golf all day long. I think he was a bit frustrated when he came off of the course, because he thought he would shoot a little better, but he was happy for the team. For him to shoot in the 60s in his freshman year here at the NCAA Championships was outstanding."
Senior Jhonattan Vegas played a steady round of golf, as evidenced by only one bogey on the day. Vegas (Maturin, Venezuela) opened with a 36 on the front nine before tapping in birdies at the 10th and 17th holes to match Bortis' 33 on the back nine. He ended round one tied for 15th place at one-under par.
"Vegas played really well today," Fields said. "Like Lopez, he came off of the golf course a little frustrated and thought he could have been better, but we got great senior leadership from him again today."
Redshirt freshman Charlie Holland sank two birdies on the front nine to head into the turn with a 36. Though he did not add any birdies on the back nine, he limited his mistakes to match his 36 from the front nine on the back nine. Holland (Dallas, Texas) ended the first round tied for 66th place at two-over par.
Junior Jace Moore stroked a 37 on the back nine before adding a 39 on the back nine. Moore (Southlake, Texas) sits in a tie for 138th place after round one.
"It's a 72-hole tournament, unlike what we play during the year," Fields concluded. "You have to pace yourself. We play later in the afternoon tomorrow, and the nice thing about that is that's when we start our qualifiers during the season, so that late start should not bother these guys. They will get some good rest tonight, get loosened up tomorrow and will have a good round in the afternoon."
Texas tees off in round two on Thursday at 12:47 p.m. Central.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP - DAY ONE NOTES
· The round was UT's 22nd sub-300 round of the season and its first since the Big 12 Championship on April 23.
· The round marked the first time that three Longhorns registered sub-70 scores in the same round since the second round of the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate held in Birmingham, Ala., last October; NOTE: Four Longhorns recorded sub-70 scores in the final round of UT's Morris Williams Intercollegiate in March, but two of the players were participating as individuals.
· Matt Bortis' round of 68 was his first round below 70 since his 69 at the National Invitational Tournament on April 2 in Tucson, Ariz.; this was his fourth sub-70 round of the season.
· Lance Lopez's round of 69 was his first round below 70 since his final round 68 at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate on March 27; this was his sixth sub-70 round of the season.
· Jhonattan Vegas' round of 69 was his first round below 70 since his final round 67 at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate on March 27; this was his fourth sub-70 round of the season.
NCAA Men's Golf Championship - Round One of Four