ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. –
Fueled by a four-under 66 from sophomore Nicolas Echavarria
, the No. 19 Arkansas men’s golf team opened the 2014 SEC Championship held at Sea Island Golf Club’s Seaside Course on Friday with a score of even-par 280 to sit in fifth place.
The Razorbacks made the turn at four-under, which was the lowest front nine score by the field, and went on to shoot the program’s second-best round at the SEC Championship. Arkansas will enter Saturday’s second round eight strokes behind No. 1 Alabama (272) and six back of Auburn (274) for second place.
Echavarria’s bogey-free 66 equals the third-lowest round turned in by a Razorback at the SEC Championship, but the lowest in the first round. Carding a 32 on the front and a 34 on the back, Echavarria sits in a tie for third place and will be the final Arkansas player to tee off on Saturday at 8 a.m. The Razorbacks will play the second round with Georgia and LSU starting at 7:20 a.m.
T3. Nicolas Echavarria
– 66 (-4)
T21. Sebastian Cappelen
T21. Kolton Crawford
T31. Taylor Moore
T61. Zach Coats
Worthy Of A Hog Call (#WPS)
Making his SEC Championship debut, Echavarria didn’t show any signs of nerves as he birdied his first two holes en route to a three-under 32 on the front nine. His three birdies on the front tied for the second-most by a player in the field while he was one of only three players to shoot a bogey-free round. Echavarria’s 66 is also a new career-low first round score.
McMakin Post-Round Sound
“Nicolas played great today. It was a similar performance to the one he turned in at NCAAs last year and it’s great to have him playing his best golf. Overall, we were solid throughout the lineup and it’s a good start. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s round and carrying this momentum into the weekend.”
@RazorbackMGOLF Quick Hits
• Program’s 23rd appearance at the SEC Championship.
• Team score of 280 is tied for the second-lowest in program history at the SEC Championship and is the second-best score this season.
• Just the second time in program history all four counting scores have been 72 or lower in the first round of the SEC Championship.
• Eight of the team’s 12 birdies came on the front nine.
• Arkansas played the course's two par 5s at a combined three-under.
• Echavarria has played his last 20 holes without a bogey.
• Echavarria and Crawford each had four birdies on the day.
• Third time this season Echavarria has been Arkansas’ low man.
• Crawford’s 71 equaled his SEC Championship-best set in the third round of 2012.
• Cappelen’s bogey-free streak at the SEC Championship reached 48 holes.
• The counting score is the 126th of Cappelen’s career and he is now 10-for-10 at the SEC Championship.
• Moore has turned in a counting score in 17 straight rounds, including all 16 in the spring.
Post-Round Tweetables (140 Characters Or Less)
• Tip of the cap to sophomore @Nicolas_Ech for setting a program @SEC Championship First RD record with a 4-under 66 #NeverYield
• .@RazorbackMGOLF in 5th place at the @SEC Championship after a 1st RD E-par 280, good for the 2nd-best RD in program history at the tourney
2014 SEC Championship Standings (Golf World/NIKE Ranking)
1. Alabama (1) – 272 (-8)
2. Auburn (22) – 274 (-6)
T3. Georgia (5) – 277 (-3)
T3. South Carolina (24) – 277 (-3)
5. Arkansas (19) – 280 (E)
6. LSU (21) – 284
T7. Kentucky – 287
T7. Mississippi State – 287
T9. Missouri – 288
T9. Vanderbilt (14) – 288
T9. Texas A&M (12) – 288
12. Tennessee – 289
T13. Ole Miss – 292
T13. Florida – 292