Villanova found itself teeing it up with some of the biggest names in Division I college golf as the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate opened Friday.
The Wildcats are last in the field of 17 after Day 1 with a 316 total, hardly embarrassing in a field littered with teams ranked in the top 30 by Golfstat. More on Villanova later.
Oklahoma, ranked No. 8 by Golfstat, grabbed the first-round lead with a 5-under 283 over the Golf Club of Georgia’s 7,039-yard, par-72 Creekside Course in Alpharetta, Ga.
The Sooners were led by Max McGreevy, a senior from Edmond, Okla. whose 4-under 68 left him in a tie for second in the individual standings, a shot back of the leader, Virginia’s Jimmy Stanger, a senior from Tampa, Fla. who fired a 67.
Also in the top 10 for Oklahoma is Blaine Hale, a sophomore from Dallas who is part of a nine-player logjam tied for eighth at 1-under 71.
The Sooners also got a pair of even-par 72s from Grant Hirschman, a senior from Collierville, Tenn. and Brad Dalke, a sophomore from Norman, Okla. They’re tied for 17th. Oklahoma was able to throw out a 78 by Rylee Reinertson, a junior from Gibbon, Neb.
No. 26 Duke is in second place, two shots behind Oklahoma at 3-under 285. The Blue Devils were led by Chandler Eaton, a freshman who is an Alpharetta, Ga. resident and a member at the Golf Club of Georgia. Eaton shot a 68 and is tied for second with Oklahoma’s McGreevy. Duke’s Max Greyserman, a senior from Short Hills, N.J. out of the Peddie School, is also in the large group tied for eighth at 1-under 71.
With Stanger leading the way, No. 7 Virginia is alone in third place at 1-over 289. No. 21 Texas A&M and No. 28 Texas are tied for fourth at 3-over 291. No. 16 Clemson is alone in sixth at 4-over 292. Three powerhouse teams, No. 3 Auburn, No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 13 Stanford, are tied for seventh at 5-over 293.
Auburn was led by Will Long, a senior from Gastonia, N.C. who carded a 68 to join McGreevy and Eaton in the tie for second.
LSU’s Sam Burns, a sophomore from Shreveport, La., is alone in fifth place at 3-uneder 69.
Stanford’s Franklin Huang, a junior from Poway, Calif., and Texas’ Scottie Scheffler, a junior from Dallas, are tied for sixth at 2-under 70. Scheffler had an opening-round 69 in the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club this summer, but just missed the cut with a 78 in the second round.
Joining Oklahoma’s Hale and Duke’s Greyserman in the group at 1-under 71 are: Texas A&M’s Chandler Phillips, a sophomore from Huntsville, Texas; UCLA’s Tyler Collier, a junior from Chico, Calif., and Spencer Soosman, a freshman from Westlake Village, Calif.; Texas’ Doug Ghim, a junior from Arlington Heights, Ill.; East Tennessee State’s Ben Reichert, a freshman from East Amherst, N.Y.; Oklahoma State’s Zach Bauchou, a sophomore from Forest, Va.; and TCU’s Jeong Weon Ko, a freshman from France.
Villanova was led by Andy Butler, a junior from Oakmont whose 1-over 73 placed him in a group tied for 24th. Not bad in a field with guys you might be watching on TV some day.
Zach Egermayer, a junior from Glen Rock, N.J., is tied for 70th with a 77, Connor Daly, a freshman from Bronxville, N.Y., is in 87th place with an 82, Lucas Trim, a senior from Tampa, Fla., is 89th with an 84 and Andrew MacMillan, a junior from Scottsdale, Ariz., is 90th with a 91.
Villanova’s experience this weekend and at last weekend’s Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate will pay dividends when the Wildcats return home to play in the City 6 Championship at Huntingdon Valley Country Club in two weeks and in their spring schedule.