May 29, 2012
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. - Lamar University opened the 2012 NCAA Men's Golf Championship with a 299 team score Tuesday to end the first round in a tie for 24th place.
Playing at historic Riviera Country Club, the Cardinals are one of five teams to end day one at 15-over-par. All 30 teams will play two more rounds before the top eight schools continue the tournament in a match play format to decide the 2012 national champion.
Lamar senior M.J. Daffue and freshman Luke Jerling each opened the tournament with identical 74s on the par-71, 7,292-yard George Thomas-designed course. The pair is tied for 63rd place in the 156-man field with the individual medalist being decided following Thursday's final round.
Daffue, who has three tournament wins this year and five during his LU career, opened the tournament with a birdie on the first hole. He would suffer a triple bogey on the second hole before posting eight straight pars. Daffue picked up his second birdie on the 11th hole, but dropped a pair of shots over his final five holes.
"M.J. opens with a birdie and then has to take a triple (bogey) after hitting a ball he couldn't find," said LU head coach Brian White. "It really hurt his momentum. Other than that hole, he played great. I don't' think he hit a bad ball after the second hole."
Jerling, who also opened with a birdie, shot a 37 on each nine. The 2012 Southland Conference Freshman of the Year carded three bogeys on the front nine and two more on the back in his opening round.
UCLA's Anton Arboleda leads the field after an opening round 67 which included a sparkling 31 on the back nine. Corey Conners of Kent State and Florida's Tyler McCumber are one stroke back as 12 players finished round one under par.
No. 2 ranked Alabama will carry the lead into Wednesday's second round after posting a 1-over-par 285. Florida and Auburn are tied for second at 288 (+4), while UCLA and Oklahoma are tied for fourth at 289 (+5).
Lamar, which is ranked 50th in the country, is tied with Chattanooga, TCU, Memphis and Virginia Tech. No. 16 Virginia and Tulsa, which like Lamar came out of the NCAA Greensboro Regional, are tied for 29th after posting 306s (+22).
"The golf course is playing difficult based on the scores," White noted. "We had a few too many mistakes, but everyone is still so bunched up that if you put up a good round tomorrow, you can move up several spots on the leaderboard."
After playing his first 15 holes without a birdie, senior Xavier Feyaerts closed with three straight to card an opening round 75 (+4). Feyaerts is tied for 81st following a round that included nine pars, five bogeys and one double bogey.
Fellow senior Kevin Hesbois is one stroke behind Feyaerts in a tied for 98th after posting a 76 (+5). Hesbois played the front nine at 2-over 37 before coming home in 39. Hesbois managed three birdies on the day, but also had four bogeys and two double bogeys.
Erik Knudsen is tied for 152nd after struggling to an 82 (+11). Knudsen, whose score did not count toward Lamar's team total, managed just one birdie on the day. He added a pair of triple bogeys and six bogeys.