The Big 12 champion Texas Longhorns, No. 2 in the latest Golfstat rankings, fired an impressive opening salvo as the NCAA regionals opened Monday at six sites around the country.
Competing at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn., Texas, the top seed in the regional, ripped off a 20-under 268 to take an 11-shot lead over East Carolina.
Texas was led by Doug Ghim, a sophomore from Arlington Heights, Ill. who took the individual lead with a sizzling 8-under 64 over the 7,190-yard, par-72 Vanderbilt Legends layout, and Taylor Funk, a redshirt sophomore from Ponte Vedra, Fla. who is one of three players tied for second a shot back of Ghim at 7-under 65. Funk is the son of eight-time PGA Tour winner Fred Funk.
It was an impressive scoring display overall at Vanderbilt as East Carolina was at 9-under 279, No. 23 Washington and Kennesaw State are tied for third at 5-under 283, and host Vanderbilt, ranked ninth, and No. 26 Virginia are tied for fifth at 3-under 285.
In the individual chase, Houston’s Michael Perres, a redshirt freshman from Deer Park, Texas and Washington’s Carl Yuan, a freshman from Orlando, Fla., are tied for second with Texas’ Funk at 7-under 65 and North Carolina-Wilmington’s Patrick Cover, a sophomore from Huntersville, N.C., is alone in fifth place at 6-under 67.
Reigning BMW Philadelphia Amateur champion Cole Berman and Big East champion Georgetown certainly didn't embarrass themselves with a 7-over 295 that left the Hoyas in 10th place.
Georgetown was led by Harrison Rhoades, a freshman from Raleigh, N.C. who carded a 1-under 71 and is tied for 24th. Sam Madsen, a sophomore from Madison, Wis., is tied for 32nd with a 73, Berman, a sophomore who starred at The Haverford School, is tied for 48th with a 75, Jack Musgrave, a sophomore from Chesterton, Ind., is tied for 55th with a 76 and Kevin Jackson, a freshman from Atlanta, is tied for 60th with a 77.
The top five teams and the top individual from a non-advancing team move on to the NCAA Championship at Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Ore.
In the regional at Blackwolf Run’s Meadow Valley Course in Kohler, Wis., Big Sky champion Idaho, seeded 12th in the region, found itself in the middle of a Florida showdown after Day 1.
The Vandals are tied at the top with Florida, ranked 16th and seeded third, at 5-under 283 with No. 10 Florida State, seeded second, lurking a shot back at 4-under 284. Kent State, ranked 45th, is in fourth place at even-par 288 and No. 4 Illinois, the Big Ten champion and the top seed in the region, is another shot back in fifth at 1-over 289.
Idaho was led by Ryan Porch, a junior from Kalispell, Mont., and Daniel Sutton, a sophomore from England, both of whom are involved in a three-way tie at the top of the individual standings. Each carded a 3-under 69 over the 7,123-yard, par-72 Meadow Valley layout. The third member of that trio is Florida State’s Hank Lebioda, a senior from Winter Springs, Fla.
A pair of Florida Gators – Ryan Orr, a junior from Belleair, Fla. and Alejandro Tosti, a sophomore from Argentina – are in the group of five players tied for fourth at 2-under 70.
Also in that group at 2-under 70 are: Illinois’ Dylan Meyer, a sophomore from Evansville, Ind.; Kent State’s Chase Johnson, a sophomore from Barberton, Ohio; and a pair of Ohio State players, Will Grimmer, a freshman from Cincinnati, and Tee-k Kelly, a senior from Wheaton, Ill.
Penn State, ranked 33rd, is tied for ninth with a 6-over 294. The Nittany Lions were led by Charles Huntzinger, a freshman from Duluth, Ga., and JD Dornes, a senior who starred scholastically at Manheim Township, both of whom carded a 1-over 73 and are tied for 27th.
Sophomore Cole Miller, a former Northwestern Lehigh standout, and Chris Houston, a senior from Gilford, N.H., are tied for 41st with 2-over 74s and Geoff Vartelas, a senior from Cromwell, Conn. Is 75th with an 82.
In the regional at the Ol’ Colony Golf Complex in Tuscaloosa, Ala., No. 5 Georgia, the top seed, grabbed a three-shot lead behind two players – Zach Healy of Peachtree Corners, Ga. and Greyson Sigg, a junior from Augusta, Ga. – among a trio tied at the top of the individual standings.
The Southeast Conference champion Bulldogs posted a 4-under 284 total, three shots better than SEC rival South Carolina, ranked 17th, which is at 1-under 287. Another SEC entrant, Kentucky, ranked 32nd, is third at even-par 288, UNLV, ranked 29th, is fourth at 2-over 290 and yet another SEC team, Alabama, ranked 19th, rounds at the top five at 4-over 292.
Healy and Sigg each carded a 4-under 68 over the 7,514-yard, par-72 Ol’ Colony layout to share the individual lead with Colorado’s Jeremy Paul, a junior from Germany.
Auburn’s Michael Johnson, a redshirt senior from Birmingham, Ala., is alone in fourth place with a 3-under 69.
Four players are tied for fifth at 2-under 70. They are: Kentucky’s Lukas Euler, a freshman from Germany; South Carolina’s Matt NeSmith, a senior from North Augusta, S.C.; UNLV’s Shintaro Ban, a sophomore San Jose, Calif.; and College of Charleston’s William Rainey, a junior from Charlotte, N.C.
In the regional at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., top-seeded Oklahoma State, ranked sixth, took a seven-shot lead over in-state rival Oklahoma, ranked 18th. The Cowboys were the only team to break par with a 3-under 285. Oklahoma is at 4-over 292.
No. 56 Louisville and No. 55 Northwestern are tied for third at 12-over 300 and No. 30 Augusta and No. 31 Purdue are tied for fourth at 15-over 303.
Oklahoma State was led by Stratton Nolen, a sophomore from Austin, Texas who took the individual lead with a 4-under 68 over the 7,418-yard, par-72 Karsten Creek layout, and Kristoffer Ventura, a sophomore from Norway who is tied fifth with a 1-under 71.
Three players – Northwestern’s Dylan Lu, a sophomore from Medford, Ore., Missouri-Kansas City’s Antoine Rozner, a senior from France, and Iowa State’s Nick Voke, a junior from New Zealand – are tied for second, each posting a 2-under 70.
Joining Oklahoma State’s Ventura in a tie for fifth at 1-under 71 is Augusta’s Jake Marriott, a junior from Naples, Fla.
In the regional at the University of New Mexico Championship Course in Albuquerque, N.M., No. 11 Arizona State jumped out to a three-shot lead over American Athletic Conference champion South Florida, ranked 15th.
The Sun Devils were the only team to break par with a 2-under 286. South Florida is at 1-over 289. Tied for third at 3-over 291 are top-seeded Southern California, ranked third, and Texas Tech, ranked 46th. TCU is alone in fifth another shot back at 4-over 292.
Arizona State and South Florida also have the top two individuals after Day 1 as the Sun Devils’ Jon Rahm, a senior from Spain coming off the individual Pac-12 crown, and the Bulls’ Rigel Fernandes, a junior from Bradenton, Fla., each carded a 3-under 69. Arizona State’s Max Rottluff, a senior from Germany, is one of five players tied for fifth at 1-under 71.
USC’s Sean Crocker, a sophomore from Westlake Village, Calif., and TCU’s Ryan Books, a senior from Seattle, are tied for third a shot back at 2-under 70.
Joining Arizona State’s Rottluff at 1-under 71 are: Texas A&M’s Chandler Phillips, a freshman from Huntsville, Texas; Army’s Peter Kim, a junior from Metuchen, N.J.; Liberty’s Gabe Lench, a freshman from Lake Mary, Fla.; and Santa Clara’s Hayden Shieh, a sophomore from Fremont, Calif.
In the regional at The Gallery at Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz., top-seeded Stanford picked up right where it left off when it dominated the Pac-12 Championship, as the No. 1-ranked Cardinal put together a 14-under 274 to jump out to a nine-shot lead over No. 37 UAB, which posted a solid 5-under 283.
Stanford’s Pac-12 rival Oregon, ranked 24th, is third at 3-under, No. 12 Wake Forest, the second seed, is fourth at 2-under 286 and yet another Pac-12 entry, California, ranked 13th, is another shot back in fifth at 1-under 287.
Stanford was led by Franklin Huang, a sophomore from Poway, Calif. who fired a 5-under 67 to get a share of second place in the individual standings, and junior Maverick McNealy, the reigning winner of both the Nicklaus and Haskins awards who had a 4-under 68 and is tied for fourth.
California-Riverside’s Matt Lutz, a sophomore from Placentia, Calif., grabbed the individual lead with a sparkling 6-under 66 over the 7,258-yard, par-72 Gallery layout.
Sharing second place with Stanford’s Huang at 5-under 67 is Wake Forest’s Paul McBride, a sophomore from Ireland.
Sharing fourth with Stanford’s McNealy at 4-under 68 are California’s K.K. Limbhasut, a sophomore from Loma Linda, Calif., and St. Mary’s Connor Blick, a sophomore from Danville, Calif.
The second-best score for Wake Forest was turned in by freshman Kyle Sterbinsky, a Yardley resident and Peddie School product who is tied for 15th at 1-under 71. Sterbinsky was the qualifying medalist at age 16 in the 2013 BMW Philadelphia Amateur at Aronimink Golf Club.