May 15, 2014
SUGAR GROVE, Ill. - The No. 21 UAB men's golf team is the tournament leader after a strong first day at the NCAA Sugar Grove Regional at Rich Harvest Farms on Thursday. The Blazers shot a 292 (+4) for the first 18 holes of play to hold a one stroke lead over second-place Illinois.
"Today went well," said head coach Alan Murray. "The golf course is difficult. It is excellent, but it is really difficult. It was cold and rainy this morning, so really proud and happy with how they did."
The Blazers were in a close battle at the top of the leaderboard, but back-to-back birdies on the 17th hole (No. 8) helped pushed them in front of No. 9 Illinois.
"The guys were superb today," remarked Murray. "I know Thomas struggled, but Thomas Sutton is an excellent player. The round tee shot gives you an indication that this place can eat you for lunch if you aren't firing on all cylinders."
Several players got off to great starts despite the tough weather conditions. Senior Wilson McDonald, who is tied for fourth with an even 72 on the day, birdied two of his first three holes. McDonald's 72 his is best score in regional play and his 16th round of at or below par. He finished with five birdies on the day, which tied for the most.
Fellow senior Sam Love also started quickly, recording three birdies in his first five holes. Love finished with a 73 (+1) on the day and is tied for sixth. Joining him at one over par is junior Paul Dunne, who notched two birdies a pair of birdies on holes No. 2 and No. 4 and scored a round-best 14 pars.
"Wilson (McDonald) shot even par today," stated Murray. "Paul (Dunne) and Sam (Love) were each one over and Martin (Rohwer) shot two over. Really excellent rounds by all of them. They coped well with tough weather conditions."
UAB will be back on the course for the second round on Friday. The Blazers will start on hole No. 1. Sutton will tee off at 9:15 a.m., Rohwer at 9:26 a.m., Love at 9:37 a.m., Dunne at 9:48 a.m. and McDonald at 9:59 a.m. CT.
For the latest news on Blazer sports, follow the UAB Athletics Twitter account: @UABathletics. For men's golf news, follow @UAB_MensGolf. Live scoring can be found through the Sugar Grove Regional Central Page.