Oklahoma State junior Hayden Wood leads the individual standings
WAIKOLA, HI (February 2, 2018) - On Friday at The Amer Ari Invitational Oklahoma State showed the nation why they are the top ranked team in the country. One back when the day began the Pokes got four under-par rounds, including a 7-under 65 from Hayden Wood, to put together a 21-under day and take the lead at 29-under.
Wood, now leading the medalist race, played a flawless second round that included seven birdies. A junior, Wood got off to a slow start on Friday with pars on each of his first four holes, but once the flood gates opened they opened in a big way. Wood's first birdie of the round came on No. 5 and he quickly followed it up with a second on the ensuing hole.
Now rolling Wood added birdies on Nos. 8 and 9, 11, 14 and 18 to post 10-under. On Saturday Wood will be in search of his first collegiate win, with his best finish previously coming at this years Carmel Cup.
Along with Wood the Cowboys, winners two-times this year in three events, have three other players inside the top-12 after they all carded rounds in the 60's. Matthew Wolff fired a 5-under 67 and is in a tie for third at 8-under, in a tie for 10th after a 4-under 68 is Zach Bauchou at 6-under while Viktor Hovland is tied for 12th at 5-under following his second round 5-under 67.
Behind Oklahoma State in the team race are No. 4 Georgia Tech and No. 13 Texas Tech in second at 20-under, No. 18 USC is fourth at 18-under while in fifth it is first round leading No. 16 Texas and Oregon at 14-under.
The top-five of the medalist standings is rounded out by USC's Justin Suh (-9) in second, and a group of six tied for third at 8-under. The group includes Kaito Onishi (USC), Spencer Soosman (Texas), Wolff, Donald Kay (Oregon) and Noah Norton (Georgia Tech).
First round leader Tyler Strafaci (Georgia Tech) fell back to 5-under after a 1-over 73 and is tied for 12th.
ROUND ONE RECAP
Some people (or teams in this case) get all the luck. While most of the country is battling the grips of winter 18 teams, including six teams in the top-25, are basking in the Hawaiian sun and teeing it up in The Amer Ari Invitational to begin their spring season's.
With day one at the Waikoloa Kings' Course in the books some of the top teams in the country are floating around the lead but so far it is No. 16 Texas pacing the group. Led by last years Big 12 Player of the Year Doug Ghim and Spencer Soosman the Longhorns are 9-under and one-stroke in front of top-ranked Oklahoma State.
Ghim and Soosman, both seniors, carded opening round 4-under 68's and they are currently tied for second and one shot off the medalist lead held by Georgia Tech's Tyler Strafaci at 6-under.
The highlight of the day for Ghim, a winner already this year at the Golf Club of Georgia Intercollegiate, was his eagle on the par-5 18th hole to go along with five birdies and three bogeys.
Soosman matched Ghim with a six birdie, two bogey effort. Beginning on the 14th hole, Soosman did most of his work early birdieing five of his first nine holes.
Texas was also helped to the lead by a third senior, Scottie Scheffler who turned in a 3-under 69 and is tied for second.
The rest of the team top-five is rounded out by No. 4 Georgia Tech, No. 13 Texas Tech and TCU all sharing third at 7-under.
Medalist leader Tyler Strafaci moved into the lead with a flawless 6-under 66. Teeing off on the 11th the Yellow Jacket sophomore moved under-par with a birdie on the 14th and then continued his strong play with 18th, 2nd and 5th hole birdies while also jarring an eagle on the par-5 4th.
After playing in just one event in the fall of his freshman year Strafaci became a main stay in the Georgia Tech line up during the spring of 2017. In the fall of this season Strafaci put together a solid string of tournaments finishing three-times in the top-15 with his best showing coming at the Maui Jim Intercollegiate where he was fourth.
Strafaci also had a solid summer of 2017 reaching the Round of 32 at the U.S. Amateur and placing seventh at the Monroe Invitational.
Along with Ghim and Soosman in second place at 4-under are three others including Donald Kay (Oregon), Spencer Painton (Colorado) and Adam Blomme (Texas Tech).
ABOUT THE The Amer Ari Invitational
54 hole men's college tournament hosted by the
University of Hawaii-Hilo. Team (best four scores out of
five players) and individual competitions.
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