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Complete coverage: Opening day of NCAA Regionals
13 May 2019
by Julie Williams of AmateurGolf.com

see also: NCAA Division I Golf Championship - Central Regional, The University Club

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The first round of regionals is in the books (Golf Tourism Solutions photo)
The first round of regionals is in the books (Golf Tourism Solutions photo)

NCAA regionals are 54 holes of high-pressure golf – sometimes ending with bigger upsets and more surprises than the national championship itself. It’s no guarantee that the top teams get to the national championship in this format. Plenty of can’t-miss teams have been on the outside looking in.

The nation's top teams and individuals are divided among six regional sites this week, with play starting Monday, May 13 and ending Wednesday, May 15. Only five teams will advance from each site to set up the 30-team national championship field.

Check AmateurGolf.com daily for a wrap-up of the current day and a breakdown of what to watch for as the week unfolds.

NCAA Central Regional (University of Texas GC, Austin, Texas)

Team leaders: Pepperdine, Texas (6-under 278)
Individual leader: Pierceson Coody, Texas (5-under 66)
Scoreboard

The hook: It’s really no surprise that Texas would top the board on its home turf, but Pepperdine had some day, too, thanks to big performances from Josh McCarthy and Joe Highsmith. McCarthy, with a tournament-leading seven birdies, went 4 under for a 67 and Highsmith, in his first-ever NCAA regional round, went 3 under for 68. This is just the second time that Pepperdine has led at a regional. The Waves had a share of the first-round lead in 1996, a year in which they qualified for nationals.

As for Texas, it never hurts when you have a freshman get on a birdie run and make five of them in a six-hole stretch on the back nine. That was Coody’s story, and it carried him all the way to the top of the individual leaderboard. Then there was freshman Cole Hammer’s approach: 2 over through eight holes, but birdied five of his next six. There’s no wrong way to win a regional.

Texas head coach John Fields says:
If the cut fell today: Pepperdine, Texas, TCU, Arkansas and Clemson would qualify.

Tomorrow, watch for… Arkansas to keep itself in contention. This, of course, is a relevant story for the next two rounds. If the Razorbacks are hosting the national championship, they need to be there. Arkansas is the No. 6 seed in Texas this week.

NCAA East Regional (TPC of Myrtle Beach, S.C.)

Team leaders: Illinois (9-under 279)
Individual leader: Adrien Dumont de Chassart, Illinois (5-under 67)
Scoreboard

The hook: So far, it’s a Big Ten show in Myrtle Beach. There was a lot of red on Illini cards in the opening round, and Ohio State tried its best to keep up. Each team had two players under 70 in the opening round, and as Illinois head coach Mike Small noted, it’s takes someone to step up like that each day.

As for Illinois’ Monday frontman de Chassart, an opening 67 marked the fifth time the Belgian has had that number or lower so far this season.

Illinois head coach Mike Small says: “I'm happy to come into an NCAA Regional like this, continuing our momentum from the Big Ten Championship. We talked about the fact that the last round of the Big Ten championship was very positive and it was more like the way we expect to play and command our space. Today the team did the same thing; they had a good look and they played solid golf."

If the cut fell today: Illinois, Ohio State, Wake Forest and Florida State would be in, with California and UNLV in a playoff for the last spot.

Tomorrow, watch for… Cal to move up the leaderboard. It was a dull front nine for the Bears but a lively back nine. California is by no means out of it, but needs a more complete round on Tuesday to get away from the cutline.


NCAA Midwest Regional (University of Louisville GC, Simpsonville, Ky.)

Team leaders: Auburn (8-under 276)
Individual leader: Matthias Schmid, Louisville (5-under 66)
Scoreboard

The hook: It wasn’t an easy weather day in Louisville, but Auburn got off to a strong start. The Tigers effectively kept the big numbers away but made lots of pars and a few birdies to give themselves an immediate edge. Two Auburn players, Jovan Rebula (67) and Graysen Huff (68), didn’t make a single bogey all day. Trace Crowe (70) only had one.

Just because Oklahoma State, the nation’s top team, is in the field doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed this title. Auburn has clearly put itself forward as a contender, and that’s a strong mindset to take into regional week. Auburn head coach Nick Clinard made it clear that his team is trying to win.

Auburn head coach Nick Clinard says: "We had a good day and it is a good start to the week. It's tough conditions out here – the rough is up, the wind is blowing and it felt like it was 30 degrees when we teed off today. . . . We're here to win every day and try to win a regional championship."

If the cut fell today: Auburn, Oklahoma State, Louisville, Baylor and West Virginia would advance.

Tomorrow, watch for… North Florida to climb the leaderboard. The Ospreys have won four times this year, and with a lineup that includes four determined seniors, this is one of those sneaky good teams. After an 8-over 292 to open, however, North Florida needs a strong finish to give itself an opportunity.

NCAA Southeast Regional (University of Georgia GC, Athens, Ga.)

Team leaders: Georgia (even-par 288)
Individual leader: Brad Bawden, Memphis (3-under 68)
Scoreboard

The hook: Sure, Georgia was leading on home turf by the end of the day, but after the first four holes, the Bulldogs were 5 over as a team. Georgia made it up over the middle holes, logging 13 birdies from Nos. 5-13 to get to even on the day for the first-round lead.

Scores in Athens were higher than any other regional site on Monday. Much of that had to do with the amount of rain the area saw in the lead-up to this week.

So far, the Athens regional is tightly held by SEC teams, with Georgia, Vanderbilt and Tennessee accounting for three of the top four spots.

Vanderbilt head coach Scott Limbaugh says: “I thought it was a good start for us today. It was a pretty tough test out there and I am proud of how we battled. . . . These weeks are about the team and we need all five guys battling, believing and doing it together.”

If the cut fell today: Georgia, Vanderbilt, Duke, Tennessee and Memphis would be in.

Tomorrow, watch for… Alabama to mount a comeback. It’s been a rough year for the Tide, what with Davis Riley turning professional mid-season and Davis Shore out with an injury, but this team has more in the tank than an 18-over performance. The Tide had to count an 81 toward the team score on Monday. They're next to last.

NCAA Southwest Regional (Stanford University GC, Stanford, Calif.)

Team leaders: Stanford (6-under 274)
Individual leader: Jake Vincent, Southern Utah (6-under 64)
Scoreboard

The hook: Whatever spark Stanford found late this spring season is clearly still working. Add home-course familiarity to a three-tournament winning streak, and the Cardinal are in a very good place this week as postseason begins.

Stanford’s performance was expected this week, given recent results. North Carolina Greensboro, which is just a shot behind the Cardinal at 5 under, served up a little more of a surprise performance on Monday. UNCG entered regionals as a No. 11 seed after earning an Automatic Qualifying spot by winning the Southern Conference title.

Stanford head coach Conrad Ray says: “We got off to a nice start. When the breeze came up and with some difficult hole locations on the back nine, we hung tough. We will need to clean up some big numbers in the coming days but overall a very good start."

If the cut fell today: Stanford, UNCG, Georgia Southern and North Carolina would advance, with South Florida and Ole Miss entering a playoff for the final spot.

Tomorrow, watch for… Arizona State to find its groove again. The Sun Devils were unstoppable in the regular season, winning four times and finishing runner-up five times. The past month has included a fourth at the Pac-12 Championship, and an opening 3-over 283 at Stanford that left them nine shots off the pace and in seventh as a team.


NCAA West Regional (Palouse Ridge GC, Pullman, Wash.)

Team leaders: Texas A&M (11-under 269)
Individual leader: Chandler Phillips, Texas A&M; Garett Reband, Oklahoma; Carson Lundell, BYU (6-under 64)
Scoreboard The hook: It was a good day for scoring in Washington, so Texas A&M took that and ran with it. Head coach J.T. Higgins watched his team keep the ball in front of them, attack the course and most importantly, stick to the plan. At the end of the day, the Aggies counted two eagles and 16 birdies and had four players under 70, which is par at Palouse Ridge.

Senior Chandler Phillips led that effort with a 6-under 64. That’s the lowest single-round score for an A&M player in NCAA regional play.

If the cut fell today: Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Georgia Tech, BYU and Michigan State would advance.

Tomorrow, watch for… BYU’s follow-up performance. There’s some depth to this squad, as evidenced on Monday when Carson Lundell dropped a 64 and two other team members, including BYU's top player Peter Kuest, added rounds of 69. BYU is capable of keeping this pace, just like they did a year ago. The team advanced to nationals last year for the first time since 2010 after a second-place finish in Norman, Okla.

Results: NCAA Division I Central Regional
T1ItalyStefano MazzoliItaly100071-69-64=204
T1FLSteven ChervonyBoca Raton, FL100072-66-66=204
T1TXCole HammerHouston, TX100070-68-66=204
4WAJoe HighsmithLakewood, WA50068-70-69=207
5CASam KimIrvine, CA50069-71-69=209

View full results for NCAA Division I Central Regional

ABOUT THE NCAA Division I Central Regional

54 hole men's NCAA Regional from which the low teams advance to the NCAA Championship.

View Complete Tournament Information

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