May 16, 2013
BATON ROUGE, La. --- The men’s golf teams opened the 2013 NCAA Baton Rouge Regional with a team score of 304, to end the day in a tie for 10th place. Junior Wilson McDonald led the Blazers, carding an opening round 74 (+2) at The University Club in Baton Rouge, La.
“Overall it was a good round, I got off to a good start birdying two of my first three holes. I played well all day just made two or three mistakes that cost me three or four shots,” said McDonald. “Early on you could be more aggressive but towards the end of the day, the winds picked up and dried out the course and you had to play away from the pins a little bit.”
With the Blazers starting on hole No. 10, McDonald birdied the par-four 10th and 12th holes with a bogey on the par-five 11th sandwiched in between. Still at one-under par, McDonald made bogey on the 16th and double-bogeyed the par-five 17th to go out in 38 (+2).
After a bogey on the par-five third hole to put him at three-over par, McDonald played the final six holes at one-under par to finish with a two-over par 74.
“It’s definitely nice to finish one-under over the last few holes. I played well so I just have to eliminate those mistakes and hopefully shoot a good round tomorrow,” added McDonald.
Thomas Sutton was one-under par after a birdie on the par-three 13th hole, but five straight bogies to close his front nine sent him out with a four-over par 40. He was able to string together some pars on his back nine to end the day at six-over (78).
Paul Dunne tied McDonald for most birdies on the day by a UAB golfer with three but made 10 bogies en route to an opening round 79 (+7).
Sam Love had the best round of the day going for the Blazers at the turn, going out with an even par 36 making a birdie and a bogey on his opening nine. But he struggled on his back nine and finished with an 82 for the round.
“It’s a very difficult golf course and we didn’t play well and if you don’t play your best golf, this course will beat you up. The scores across the board were high today and any team out here can have a day like we did today,” said head coach Alan Kaufman. “If we play well tomorrow, we will be right back in the thick of things.”
Despite shooting one of their higher scores of the season, the Blazers find themselves just eight strokes behind Tennessee and C-USA Champion Houston, who are tied for fourth place. The top five in the event after 54 holes will advance to National in Atlanta later this month.
Florida grabbed the early lead with a team score of 286 (-2). Alabama and South Alabama are tied for second place at 296. Florida’s TJ Vogel and Tyler McCumber and Florida’s Scott Strohmeyer lead the medalist race after first round scores of two-under par 70.
The Blazers will again tee off of hole No. 10 in the second round on Friday, May 17th, with the first UAB golfer teeing off at 8:50 a.m. CT. UAB will be paired with Southeastern Louisiana and Mississippi State in round two.
Live scoring is available at golfstat.com.