HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Fl (May 15, 2012) --The 2012 NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championships got underway Tuesday at the Mission Inn Resorts in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida with host institution Oglethorpe University jumping out to the lead following round one.
The Stormy Petrels fired a team total of 285 (-3) on the 6,895 yard par-72 Las Colinas Course to edge in front of second place Claremont-Mudd Scripps (289, +1) and third place Christopher Newport (290, +2). The top-8 team scores turned in on Tuesday came from the more forgiving Colinas Course with the 6,926 yard par-72 El Campeon Course playing significantly more difficult.
The University of Texas at Tyler and Guilford College managed the conditions on the El Campeon Course best, each carding identical team totals of 300 (+12). Gustavus Adolphus College carded a 301 (+13) on El Campeon to position themselves nicely with a trip over to Las Colinas for round two tomorrow.
Individually, Oglethorpe's Anthony Maccaglia and Mudd-Scripps' Brad Shigezawa are tied after posting matching 68's on Las Colinas. Maccaglia closed his round with consecutive birdies to match Shigezawa, whose afternoon featured seven birdies. Andrew Bateman and Mike Westo of Methodist University, along with Brian Jaeger of Christopher Newport University, are in a three-way tie for third after firing rounds of 2-under par 70. As was the case with the team scoring, the top-8 individual scores all came from players on Las Colinas.
A bunched group of 11 players are tied for 9th place overall after carding even par rounds of 70. In that group of 11 are four individuals who handled the El Campeon Course with the lowest scores. Thos individuals are Ryna Dagerman (Emory University), Simon Erlandsson (Gustavus Adolphus), Alex Kapraun (University of St. Thomas – Minnesota) and Tyler McMorrow (Texas-Tyler).
Round two will get underway at 7 a.m. Tuesday with the field being cut down to the top 15 teams for Thursday and Friday's action.
Notes and quotes from around the Championships:
A veteran coach with loads of Championship experience, Texas-Tyler's King Campbell knows the opening round doesn't tell the complete story. "I always say you can't judge the scores until after the first two rounds are complete," said Campbell after his Patriots tied for the best score of the day (300, +12) on El Campeon. "We felt El Campeon was playing 6 to 8 strokes tougher than Los Colinas and we certainly didn't play ourselves out of it today. We struggled on (the par 5) 17 coming in, but overall I was pleased with today's performance."
Scott Moe, Head Coach for Gustavus Adolphus, certainly gets the Iron Man award for the double –duty he's pulled in the past two weeks. Just last weekend, Coach Moe was guiding the Gusties' women's golf squad to an 11th place overall finish at the NCAA Championships in Angola, Indiana. His reward for pulling the off the yeoman's work unique to Division III athletics? How about the first available tee time on Tuesday morning bright and early at 7 a.m. It didn't affect his squad, though, who posted the second best score of the day on El Campeon. "I thought we managed it well," said Moe, adding, "Holes 4, 5, 6 and 7 are really tough, but we got through them okay. After that, we put a nice string of birdies together on the back 9 to put ourselves in better position heading into tomorrow."
The last time the Mission Inn hosted the D-III Men's Golf Championships was 2005 and Guilford College came away with the hardware. The Quakers are back at the Championships in 2012 looking for another trophy. Current Head Coach Cory Maggard remembers the 2005 Championships well, as he was on site as a competitor for Transylvania University that year. Today, his Guilford squad tied for the best round at El Campeon with a team total of 300. "I'm pleased with today," said Maggard. "We have three freshmen this year at their first National Championship. One of them (Mitch Robinette) started with 2 bogeys on his first three and then made 15 pars after that. Another one of our freshmen (Andrew Thompson) led the squad today with a 73. We'll need to go low tomorrow on Colinas to give ourselves a chance."
Emory University's Ryan Dagerman led the individuals on the El Campeon Course with a nifty round of even par 70 on Tuesday. How'd he do it on the tougher course? "I managed to keep it in play and around the green, and not make too many big numbers which is key in a Championship event," he said. "I had a lot of 4 or 5 footers I was able to hole out."
Transylvania's Justin Tereshko is used to better scoring days than the 82 he posted on El Campeon today. Still, his uncharacteristic struggles were lessened a bit when he aced the par-3 15th hole. "I shot it at 134 (yards) and the wind was slightly into me," he said. "I just hit a 9-iron, it looked good the whole way and then I saw it disappear." His parents were in attendance for the occasion. On his parents witnessing the rare feat: "I think they enjoyed it," Tereshko slyly said.
Individual leader Brad Shigezawa of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps played the back nine in 3-under to advance up the leader board. "I got off to a slow start with a bogey at number one but was able to cover it up with a lot of birdies," said Shigezawa. Indeed he did. In all, Shigezawa carded 7 birdies in his round.
So how did Oglethorpe manage to be the lone team under par after the first round? By being the only squad in the field to not card a double bogey or worse in their 90 combined holes of golf. "That was one of our goals for the Championship– keep the big numbers off the card," said Oglethorpe Head Coach Jim Owen. "These courses are very difficult, and if you make it more difficult by scoring big numbers, you're going to have problems."
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