PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Freshman Sebastian Cappelen was three-under par for the day to lead the University of Arkansas men’s golf team to fourth place after the first round of the John Hayt Invitational in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., on Sunday.
Arkansas is three strokes off the pace of Auburn and TCU, -6, in the team scoring and one stroke behind LSU for third. The Razorbacks were one of six teams to shoot below par at Sawgrass Country Club, and one of four Southeastern Conference teams. The Sawgrass Country Club is known for its stiff winds and tough course and has been the home to several PGA Tournament Players Championships.
Cappelen was brilliant on the front nine on Sunday, shooting three-under par with four birdies and a bogey. The back nine for Cappelen was also going very well as he was four-under for his round until the par four 16th. On that hole, the Dane was three-over and moved back to one-under par for his round, but birdies on 17 and 18 moved him into a tie for seventh in the individual standings, two strokes behind the clubhouse leader. Cappelen’s 69 was his third round of the season under 70 and the second consecutive tournament that he has posted a sub-70 score in his opening round.
Senior Jamie Marshall rebounded from his worst outing of the season on Sunday with a first-round score of 70, two-under par, which tied him for 12th overall. Marshall and an interesting front nine with a birdie to open play then bogeys on two of his next three holes. A birdie on the par four fifth was followed by two more bogeys and a birdie which left the Castle Rock, Colo., native at one-over par after nine holes. As topsy-turvy as Marshall’s opening nine were, his back nine was fantastic as he posted four birdies and just one bogey. Marshall was one-over par entering the 16th hole before notching back-to-back-to-back birdies to finish his round strong.
Freshman Will Pearson finished his opening round at even par and had perhaps the steadiest day of all the Arkansas golfers. Pearson recorded three birdies and three bogeys including a birdie on the par five 18th to get back to even.
Arkansas’ final scorer on the day was junior Ethan Tracy who finished his round at two-over par. Tracy opened with a par, and then had seven straight holes where he recorded a birdie or a bogey, before closing his front nine with another par and one-over par. Tracy settled in on the back side of the course and recorded eight pars and a bogey to finish at two-over and was very good on the longer holes as he finished at two-under on the four par fives.
Junior Christoffer Arvidsson, playing as an individual, and sophomore Austin Cook completed Arkansas’ participation in the first round. Arvidsson matched Tracy at two-over par on the day while Cook completed his round at three over. Arvidsson played the front nine at three-over par before a birdie and eight pars on the back side. Cook’s round included Arkansas’ only eagle on the day, on the par five 11th, but was also credited with a birdie, four bogeys and a double bogey.
The Razorbacks will play round two of the John Hayt Invitational with Florida and Coastal Carolina beginning at 8:45 a.m. eastern.