EUGENE, Ore. — On a day in which the site of the 2016 NCAA Men's National Championship showed its teeth, Colorado State sophomore Colton Yates finished the day on top after the first round of the Pacific Coast Amateur.
With only four players breaking par on Tuesday at the historic Eugene Country Club, it was the Scottsdale, Ariz. native Yates who made five birdies on his first nine, the back side, to post 32 before going one-over par on the front to post three-under 67.
Yates leads Jared du Toit of Canada by a stroke, but his lead could have been three if it weren't for back-to-back bogeys to finish his round on holes 8 and 9.
Du Toit, who recently captured the British Columbia Amateur by seven strokes, birdied three of his first four holes but needed birdie on 18 to post two-under 68.
Tied for third at one-under are University of Oregon sophomore Aaron Wise and Southern Methodist senior Austin Smotherman, followed by a string of notable names at even-par 70.
Of the five players tied for fifth, two are top-5 players in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com World Rankings, while two others are top-100. Stanford junior Maverick McNealy, whose sophomore campaign for the Cardinal was one for the record books, overcame a double-bogey on the par-4 ninth to post 70 while SMU senior Bryson DeChambeau, this year's NCAA Individual champion, used two back-nine birdies to go even on day one at the Robert Trent Jones redesign.
Also at even-par are reigning California Amateur winner Shotaro Ban, recent Minnesota State Open victor Andrew McCain, and 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur champion Will Zalatoris.
In a nine-way tie for 13th place at two-over is defending champion Corey Pereira, who has two big wins this summer already, including the Sahalee Players Championship and the newly formed Sierra Players Invitational in Northern California.
ABOUT EUGENE COUNTRY CLUB
Founded in 1899, Eugene Country Club is Oregon's second oldest golf club. Renovated in the late 1960's by renowned architect Robert Trent Jones, Eugene Country Club has routinely been rated one of the best courses in the Pacific Northwest. The rolling, tree-lined design will be a challenge to 84 of the top-ranked amateurs in the world over the 72-hole, four-day stroke play competition. Only one player will have the opportunity to raise the Dr. Ed Updegraff trophy as overall champion at one of North America's most historic golfing events.