Luke Kluver (North Texas PGA)
Round one of the Maridoe Collegiate Invitational tested player’s skills and mental toughness on Sunday. The weather was sunny and warm, but the wind was the main story.
With sustained winds in the high teens and low 20s, gusts often touched the 30 mile an hour mark, making Maridoe Golf Club play tougher than intended.
Not all was gone with the wind though as University of Kansas freshman Luke Kluver used his familiarity with windy conditions to his advantage. The Norfolk, Nebraska native made it look easy on the front nine as the winds whipped in from the southeast for the better part of the day.
Playing steady through No. 4, Kluver picked up back to back birdies on Nos. 5 and 6 to get down to two under par. Making par on the 590-yard par-5 7th, directly into the teeth of the wind, Kluver snagged another pair of birdies on Nos. 8 and 9 to make the turn at 4-under, 32.
Keeping the ball in front of him, Kluver added seven pars to his scorecard that went along nicely with a birdie-bogey combo on Nos. 14 and 15.
“Out here today it was just [trying] to hit as many greens as possible,” Kluver told AmateurGolf.com.
Not only were Kluver’s irons on point, but so were his putter and driver.
“I drove it well,” he said. “The next couple of days, if I keep driving it well and give myself as many chances as possible, hopefully, the putter can stay hot and just keep the confidence rolling with the flat stick.”
His 4-under 68 holds a two-stroke advantage over Texas Tech’s Markus Braadlie (-2). With play suspended due to darkness, the top five on the leaderboard were able to sneak in before clouds shrouded the last bit of daylight. Five players were unable to finish and will wrap up their first rounds at 8:00 a.m. local time.
Despite Kluver’s marquee round of the day, his Jayhawks sit in sixth place following the first round with a team score of 18-over, 306. Baylor (+11), North Texas (+12), and Pepperdine (+14) round out the top three with 36-holes to play.
There is a concurrent individual tournament being played at Maridoe, with players representing colleges from across the U.S. that currently aren't competing this fall (mostly the Big 10, Pac 12 and ACC). For these players, red numbers were not nearly as plentiful.
Stanford freshman Barclay Brown was able to take lessons learned from his junior days back in South Yorkshire, England en route to a 3-over 75. Taking the lead despite taking two double bogeys, including one on No. 18.
Brown will take a one shot lead over Chun An Yu (Arizona State), Mason Andersen (Arizona State), and 2020 Maridoe Junior Invitational champion Michael Brennan (Wake Forest).
Southern Amateur champion Mac Meissner (SMU) is biding his time following a 5-over 77. Winning the Southern Amateur at Maridoe back in July, Meissner is tied alongside fellow Mustang Ollie Osborne.
Play resumes at 8:00 a.m. local time as the pursuit for an exemption into the 2020 Shell Houston Open continues.
ABOUT THE Maridoe Collegiate Invitational
54-hole men's college tournament hosted by the
University of North Texas. Team (best four scores out of
five players) and individual competitions.
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