ATLANTA, Ga. – Behind a pair of even par performances from junior Sebastian Cappelen
and freshman Nicolas Echavarria
, the No. 9 University of Arkansas men’s golf team finished day one of the 2013 NCAA Championships in a tie for 14th at the Capital City Club in Atlanta, Ga., on Tuesday.
Arkansas combined to shoot six-over par as a team on the Crabapple course and sit just seven strokes behind eighth place which would put the Razorbacks into the match play portion of the event and a chance to compete for the national championship. Behind a near record-setting day by Jon Rahm (-9), Arizona State leads the team standings after 18 holes at 10-under par. No. 7 and host Georgia Tech fired six-under par as a team with No, 2 Alabama in third at five-under par. Illinois, who won the NCAA Fayetteville Regional, is fourth at four-under with No. 1 California in fifth at three-under par.
“We had a good day, but gave up some strokes over the last few holes or else it could have been a great day,” Arkansas head coach Brad McMakin
said. “The good thing is that we are still in it as a team and have a chance to advance. We play in the early flight tomorrow so the winds should be less of a factor and I’m looking for us to be under par.”
Beginning on the 10th tee after the noon hour, the Razorbacks battled the heat and humidity of the day along with the course and winds as they began their quest for a championship. Arkansas looked good early and was below par through the first several holes before the winds picked up and temperatures rose.
Echavarria continued to play well for the Razorbacks as his even par round consisted of three birdies, a bogey and double bogey. The Medellin, Columbia, native sank his first birdie on the par five, 12th, his third hole of the day and was two-under par after a second birdie on No. 16. Between the two birdies, Echavarria sank three par pars including a save on the par three, 15th, where he chipped in from the fringe. The first-year player made the turn at even par after a double bogey on 18 and gave another stroke up on No. 1 when he bogeyed. He settled in after the second above par hole and finished the round with seven pars and a birdie on No. 9.
Cappelen’s even par round was void of any big numbers as he carded four birdies and four bogeys. Also sinking a birdie on No. 12, Cappelen carried his one-under par score through 15 before back-to-back bogeys on No. 16 and No. 17 carried him above par. He got back to par at the turn with a birdie on No. 18, but was above par again with back-to-back bogeys on No. 1 and No. 2. The Dane closed his round strong, playing the final seven holes at two-under par which included an up-and-down birdie on the par five, fourth, and another below par score on No. 7.
Senior Austin Cook
was one Razorback who gave up strokes at the end of his round, finishing the day at three-over par. One-under par through 15 holes, Cook played the final four holes at four-over par to arrive at his final score. A bogey on No. 10, his first hole of the day was erased with a birdie on No. 13 after he stuck his tee shot on the par three hole close to the tucked pin. Cook made the turn one-over par after another bogey, and then sank back-to-back birdie putts on No. 1 and No. 2 to get back under par. Bogeys on No. 6 and No. 9 and a double on No. 8 finished his round at three-over par.
Sophomore Thomas Sorensen
managed his round well, but also gave up strokes down the stretch with a pair of bogeys on No. 7 and No. 8. Sinking one of Arkansas’ three birdies on No. 12 to get under par, an errant tee shot on No. 15 found the greenside bunker and led to a double bogey and an above par score. Six holes of par ensued for Sorensen leading to a bogey-birdie combo on No. 4 and No. 5. His round closed with two pars and two bogeys over the final four holes.
Four-over par for freshman Taylor Moore
wrapped up the Arkansas competition on Tuesday. Playing the back nine at two-over par with a pair of bogeys, Moore sank his only birdie of the round on the par five, fourth, after draining a long putt. Moore finished Tuesday’s action with five bogeys and just the lone birdie to arrive at his score.