Arkansas Tied for 20th at NCAA Central Regiona
BY ANDRES FOCIL
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – After one round of play at the NCAA Central Regional Championships the 23rd-ranked Razorback golf team found itself in a tie with Tulsa for 20th place with a 26-over-par 314. Arkansas is 12 shots out of the top 10, so the Hogs will have to rally in the next two rounds if they want to move up the leader board. UA must finish in the top 10 of its region in order to advance to the NCAA Championships on June 1-4.
Top-seeded Oklahoma State is on top with a commanding one-under-par 287, while the second place team, Texas A&M, is at four over par (292). The Cowboys’ Casey Wittenberg and Jeff Hartwick of Texas are winning the individual competition with three-under-par 69’s on the par 72, 7,259-yard Kampen Course at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex.
“We struggled to get the ball on the fairway off the tee,” Arkansas head coach Mike Ketcham said. “This is a golf course that requires you to use your driver and you can’t back off of it to use your irons, because of the length of the course. The rough is very similar to what we saw at Karsten Creek last year at nationals. I told the guys this is a marathon, not a sprint. We have to give ourselves the opportunity to play better the next two days. I feel like we got our bad round out of the way and we’re ready to play better golf tomorrow.”
Arkansas senior Andrew Dahl is not far behind and is four shots off the co-leaders. Dahl was the Hogs’ top finisher when he shot a one-over-par 73 and is in a four-way tie for 17th place. He was at one under through the first nine holes, but had bogeys on par five No. 10 and par three No. 13 to put himself at one over for the rest of the day.
Freshman Matt Bortis is next in a tie for 70th with a six-over-par 78. Bortis shot even pars through holes No. 10-16 to stay at three over, but a double bogey on No. 17 and another bogey on No. 18 left him at six over for the opening round.
Senior Seth Murphy carded a nine-over-par 81 and is tied in 99th and senior Chad Faucett is one stroke back with an 82 (+10). Each had six bogeys in the first round, but will look to improve their performance on Friday.
Rounding out the five-man lineup is freshman Beau Glover. Glover turned in a fourteen-over-par 86 after he bogeyed on eight holes. His score placed him in a tie for 138th. The Sherwood, Ark., native started off solidly and was at one over through the first five holes, but turned in triple bogeys on holes seven and nine and he was unable to rebound.
The Razorbacks will tee off for their second round at 8 a.m. on the No. 10 hole. They will look to improve their scores in their quest for a spot at nationals.
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