HUTCHISON, Kan. (May 24, 2014) -- With two days and just one round complete at the 2014 NCAA Men's Golf Division I Championship, upstart South Carolina shares the lead with top-ranked Alabama and Stanford, powered by the world's top-ranked player.
It was Will Starke's red-hot 64 on the par-70 Prairie Dunes that powered the Gamecocks, considered by some a sleeper heading into the championship, into a tie with two of the game's top teams.
Caleb Sturgeon (66) and Will Murphy (70) also turned in solid performances for South Carolina in the first round, which was played over two days due to a weather suspension.
For Alabama, it was Tom Lovelady and Bobby Wyatt who led the way. Wyatt, a 2013 U.S. Walker Cup team member, shot 66 while Lovelady fired a 67. Cory Whitsett (70) and Trey Mullinax (71) also contributed towards the Tide's co-leading first-round total.
Stanford was powered by Patrick Rodgers, the top-ranked amateur in the world. Vying for his seventh win of the season, which would break a school career wins record he shares with Tiger Woods, Rodgers shot 67 and is tied for fourth in the individual race. Stanford took a 70 from Viraat Badhwar while Cameron Wilson shot 71.
The three teams are tied at 8-under part of the way through the second round, which started later than scheduled on Saturday due to the weather postponement a day earlier. South Carolina has no players out on the course yet in the second round but Stanford and Alabama are nearly done with their first nine holes and will continue on when play begins at 7 a.m. on Sunday.
Oklahoma is fourth while Auburn and Oklahoma State sit tied for fifth place.
In the individual race, Starke is tied with Charlie Saxon, who shot 65 in Round 1 and is 1-under through three holes on his second round. Oklahoma State's Talor Gooch is also at 6-under after a first-round 69 and a 5-under start to his second round.
After 54 holes of team stroke play, the top eight teams will enter the match-play portion of the event, which runs through Wednesday. The individual champion will be decided following the completion of play in the third round.