FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 8 University of Arkansas men’s golf team was forced to battle back from a tough first round of competition on Sunday to move into sixth place after two rounds at the Gopher Invitational, the team’s first event of the 2012-13 season.
The Razorbacks shot 12-over par as a team during the first of two rounds on Sunday, improving by five strokes in the second to end the first day of competition at 19-over par. The No. 3 California Bears lead the way with a two-round score of 12-under par and are followed by SMU, No. 18 Kent State, No. 23 New Mexico and Lamar who each shot over par as a team.
Individually, the Razorbacks were paced by sophomore Thomas Sorensen
who ended the day at three-over par with rounds of 74 and 73. His effort has him tied for 12th overall. Playing some of his best golf in the late summer, Sorensen continued that trend with a pair of eagles on the par fives at Spring Hill Golf Club. Playing fantastic early, Sorensen found himself three-under par through nine holes of the first round, but five bogeys over a six-hole stretch on the back side left him at two-over for 18. The Dane was able to limit his mistakes over the next 18 holes as he carded an eagle, birdie and four bogeys for his round of 73.
Junior two-time All-American Sebastian Cappelen
is tied for 18th at four-over par. The only Razorback to shoot a round of par, Cappelen backed up an opener of four-over par with a second round even. Cappelen was steady through the first 13 holes of the course as he sank nine par putts, three birdies and a bogey. His final five holes of the opening round were tough as he posted a double bogey on the par three, fourth and finished the round with four straight bogeys. While his start was not quite as good in the second round, a birdie and eagle midway through the back side of the course had Cappelen at one-under par. He closed the round with another birdie, two bogeys and eight pars to complete the round even.
Senior Austin Cook
battled throughout the day to post rounds of two- and three-over par. Opening with a bogey in each round, the Jonesboro, Ark., native was able to get back to even in his first 18, but four-straight bogeys left him between No. 12 and No. 15 were too much to overcome. Cook was able to get two strokes back over the opening 18 with a pair of birdies and eight pars to salvage a two-over round. Cook’s second 18 holes were more up-and-down as he would follow a bogey with a birdie two times over the first nine holes. What hurt his second-round score the most was a double bogey on No. 2, but he would erase that miscue with two more birdies. He closed with back-to-back bogeys for his three-over round.
Playing in his first collegiate rounds, freshman Taylor Moore
ended the day at seven-over par with rounds of 76 and 75. Beginning on No. 10, Moore went bogey, birdie, bogey on No. 12, No. 13 and No. 14 and was even par after 11 holes with back-to-back birdies on No. 1 and No. 2. The first-year player did not close the round the way he wanted as he posted a double bogey on No. 6 and bogeys on No. 7 and No. 9 for a two-over score. Moore played the back nine, one-stroke better in the second round with a birdie and two bogeys and matched his front nine score of two-over par for his second round, 75.
Fellow freshman Nicolas Echavarria
struggled during his first day of collegiate competition as he shot rounds of 76 and 77, for a first day score of nine-over par. Needing to avoid big scores, Echavarria posted three double bogeys on Sunday. What hurt Echavarria was his inconsistent play on the longest holes of the course as he posted three birdies on the eight par fives, but also sank a bogey and two double bogeys. Showing an ability to go low, Echavarria did sink six birdies on day one with nine bogeys.
The Razorbacks wrap up the Gopher Invitational on Monday with the final round which is slated to begin at 8:30 a.m. Arkansas will be on the course with players from New Mexico and Lamar as it looks to shave strokes off the team score and move up the team standings.