SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Florida State may be the second-ranked crew within the nation and boast the top-ranked participant within the nation in senior John Pak. But Seminoles head coach Trey Jones famous that his gifted squad remains to be very inexperienced with regards to NCAA Championships.
That’s why Friday’s opening spherical of nationals was so necessary.
“We don’t have a single player that has played in this tournament,” Jones stated, “so I felt like this was going to be the one round – and actually just the first nine – if we could just get off of that back nine, then we can settle in and just play.”
Led by sturdy efficiency by its two seniors, Pak (2-under 68) and Vincent Norrman (69), Florida State battled by means of a blistering afternoon at Grayhawk Golf Club and managed 2 over by means of that again aspect earlier than ending at 1-over 281 in firm and quick circumstances. The Seminoles’ begin was adequate for solo sixth, simply 5 photographs again of Texas Tech’s 4-under morning efficiency and two worse than Pepperdine’s afternoon-best spherical of 1 underneath.
However, with Grayhawk not giving a lot when it comes to birdie alternatives (the scoring common was round three photographs over par), there wasn’t a lot separation on Day 1. Florida State is simply six photographs forward of ninth, and simply 25 strokes make up the distinction between first and final within the 30-team subject.
“Probably the fewest amount of birdies you’ve ever seen in a national championship,” stated Jones, whose 5 gamers mixed for simply 10 circles on their playing cards. “They just didn’t put the pins in places you could get after it. It was a par-fest for a lot of teams, and that’s why I think we’re all right there.”
Pepperdine head coach Michael Beard bought 10 birdies out of his two under-par guys on Friday, William Mouw (68) and Joey Vrzich, however his different two counters mixed for simply two, although additionally they solely made 4 complete bogeys. He identified that Grayhawk happening to only two par-5s – and then stretching out a kind of to 650 yards – additionally stored anybody from actually staking an enormous lead early. His 4 scorers have been simply 1 underneath on the 2 three-shotters.
“And then throw a little desert in here and there and now you’re just trying to scrape around par,” Beard stated.
Oklahoma head coach Ryan Hybl and his squad weren’t shocked about how the course performed. They figured it might be punishing. Hybl additionally wasn’t shocked with how the top-ranked Sooners responded to almost being eradicated at regionals.
Oklahoma wanted a final-round rally in Albuquerque simply to get right here, although by means of 18 holes the Sooners are even par with Jonathan Brightwell (68) and Quade Cummins (69) main the best way.
“Unreal,” Hybl stated to how his crew reacted to their regional comeback. “A lot of people said, well, you guys were supposed to be here. Well, when you’re fighting for your life, it was a bigtime moment for us and the shot of momentum that we kind of needed.”
Hybl added: “We didn’t play phenomenal or anything, but we did our part.”
Texas didn’t finish the day feeling nice, because the fifth-ranked Longhorns are 14 over after the primary spherical. Travis Vick (68) and Mason Nome (72) stored issues from actually getting sideways, however stars Cole Hammer and Pierceson Coody mixed for six doubles and 16 over.
But once more, Texas is simply eight photographs again of eighth.
“We had an anomaly,” Longhorns head coach John Fields stated. “But no use crying about spilled milk. I mean, they’re stinging right now, and they’ll take that fire and get out there and get it going our way tomorrow.”
Even together with his crew getting punched within the mouth early, Fields applauded the course setup. It’s a becoming national-championship take a look at, he stated.
“And it’s going to try to pull those eight best teams out.”