PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. (May 29, 2012) -- After a long Day 1 at the 2012 NCAA Championship, Alabama holds a three shot lead.
Behind the effort of top player Justin Thomas' 1-under 70, the Crimson Tide combined to shoot a first-round 1-over 285. Bobby Wyatt (71), Scott Strohmeyer (71) and Cory Whitsett (73) also contributed scores for the first place Tide.
“They played really well on a very difficult golf course. I think every hole here is into the wind,” said Alabama head coach Jay Seawell.
Florida, the early-morning wave leader, finished the day tied for second place alongside Auburn. Tyler McCumber fired a 3-under 68 to power the Gators while the dominant duo of Blayne Barber and Dominic Bozzelli shot identical rounds of 2-under 69 to pace Auburn.
UCLA, which received the round of the day from Anton Arboleda, is tied for fourth place with Oklahoma after Round 1. He shot a red-hot 5-under par 31 on the back nine with birdies on the 10th, 11th, 13th, 16th and 17th holes.
“I knew my game was solid,” said Arboleda after his round. “Even when I was making bogeys, I Just kept hitting good shots. Then I made some putts on the back 9. We’ve been fortunate playing here so many times and get to dissect and analyze the greens, which is really important.”
Patrick Cantlay, the world's top-ranked amateur and a teammate of the leader, shot 3-over 74 on the Bruins' home course.
Patrick Rodgers, the No. 2 player in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com World Amateur Rankings, fired a 2-under 69 and sits in a fourth-place tie individually. His Stanford Cardinal are tied for 13th after the first round.
Other notable individuals include: Brandon Hagy (Cal, 71, T-13), Dylan Frittelli (Texas, 72, T-27), Jordan Spieth (Texas, 73, T-46), Brooks Koepka (Florida State, 71, T-13), Julien Brun (TCU, 72, T-27).