BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Sophomore Sebastian Cappelen
carded a one-over par, 71, on the first day of the NCAA Bowling Green Regional on Thursday, leading the No. 11 University of Arkansas men’s golf team to a 10th-place finish after the first day of competition at The Club at Olde Stone. Cappelen’s round has him tied for 11th individually, five strokes off the lead.
The Razorbacks shot a team score of 14-over par, 302, on Thursday for their placing. No. 3 UCLA leads the way with a score of four-under par and has a 10-stroke lead in the competition. Chattanooga and Colorado State are tied for second at six-over par with No. 21 Clemson, No. 15 Texas A&M, North Texas and Memphis tied for fourth at seven-over par. Arkansas’ score has it seven strokes from the top five teams which is where it needs to finish to advance to the NCAA Championship.
“Obviously, I am disappointed with the way that we played today,” Arkansas Head Coach Brad McMakin
said. “We gave away a lot of strokes over the final four holes of the round and will need to play a lot better over the next two days to qualify for the NCAA Championship. Fortunately for us, this is a tough course and you can make up strokes in a hurry, but we’ll still need to play well in order to do that.”
Cappelen’s round began with a series of pars before he sank a birdie putt on the fourth hole. That set off a series of marks that included two more birdies and two bogeys over the next five holes as he closed out the front nine at one-under par. His back nine saw the Odense, Denmark, native hit seven pars and two bogeys, but no hole was more impressive than Cappelen’s on No. 11. On the par 5, 533 yarder, Cappelen’s second shot sailed over the green and down a large embankment into deep hazard. After several minutes of searching, Cappelen found his ball and hit a third shot 30-plus feet into the air where it landed softly on the green. Cappelen then two-putted to save par on a hole which could have been a big number.
Freshman Thomas Sorensen posted Arkansas’ second best score of the day with a two-over par, 74. Sorensen had one of the more volatile rounds with four birdies, eight pars and six bogeys, but the first-year player managed his game well and capitalized on a pair of the par fives and a drivable par four. Back-to-back bogeys for Sorensen on three and four were held in check when he scored two birdies and a bogey on five, six and seven. Sorensen closed out the front nine with a bogey to make the turn, one-over par. Five pars later, Sorensen cut the corner on the par four, 437-yard 14th hole and drove the green over water and deep rough which allowed him to two-putt for birdie. He would close out his round with two more bogeys and a birdie on No. 18.
One bad hole, and more specifically one bad bounce, spoiled what could have been a good round for senior Ethan Tracy
. One-over par through eight holes, Tracy carded a double bogey on No. 9 when his approach shot struck something when it landed and rather than take a normal bounce, shot into the deep rough. The elder statesman of the Razorback squad played through the bad break and fired a one-over par score on the back nine to finish the round at four-over par, 76.
Junior Austin Cook
had a rough start to his round with several missed fairways, but did settle down on the back nine. Cook’s uncharacteristic tee shots consistently found the rough right of the fairway which led the Jonesboro, Ark., native to shoot six-over par on the front nine. Finding his groove midway through the round, Cook closed with a back nine of one-over par for an 18-hole score of 79, seven-over par.
The Razorbacks’ final player on Thursday, junior Josh Eure
, was able to battle through several errant tee shots on the front nine and still shoot one-over par with two bogeys and a birdie. He would stay at one-over par through 14 holes, but struggled over the final four holes of the course and closed the round with a score of eight-over par, 80.
The Razorbacks return to the course on Friday morning with a tee time of 8:50 a.m. at The Club at Olde Stone. Arkansas is paired with Iowa State and Jacksonville State and will start from the 10th tee.