MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

May 29, 2013

OU sixth, OSU seventh in NCAA golf after one round


Phoenix staff, wire reports

— The Oklahoma men’s golf team sits in sixth place after one round at the 30-team NCAA Championships, which is being played at the 7,320-yard, par-70 Capital City Club Crabapple Course in Atlanta.

 The Sooners recorded a 2-under 278 on Tuesday, the second lowest round posted by the team this season, eight strokes behind leader Arizona State.

“I think as a team we had a chance to really take it deep today, and we didn’t, so that’s a little disappointing. Overall, we still shot 2-under, and being in the hunt is really all you can ask for following one round,” Oklahoma Coach Ryan Hybl said.

Leading the Sooners is Abrham Ancer, who  fired a season-low 5-under-par 65, good for second place. The senior carded six birdies in the first round and is four strokes off the lead.

“I just played really consistent, safe, but still aggressive golf and hit a lot of greens,” Ancer said. “I think I only missed one green all day. I was able to make some putts here and there. Overall, I really hit it well off the tee and in the fairways today.”

Charlie Saxon shot two birdies and just one bogey en route to a 69 (-1) on Tuesday. Saxon is tied for 20th place.

Also for OU, Michael Schoolcraft and Beau Titsworth each shot a 2-over 72. Will Knopp carded a 75.

Four players finished the day tied for fourth place after carding 67s. Among the group at 3-under par were Oklahoma State’s Talor Gooch and Ian Davis. The Cowboys as a team shot 279 and is in seventh place.

“Anytime you can shoot under par on this course it is a good score. It is a tough course, so we just wanted to get off to a good start and hopefully we can keep it going,” Gooch said.

Jordan Niebrugg (71) Kevin Dougherty (74) and Patrick Winther (78) round out OSU’s scores.

Behind a near record-setting day by Jon Rahm, Arizona State leads the team standings after 18 holes at 10-under par 270. Rahm shot a 9-under 61 for a four-shot lead and was one stroke off the NCAA championship record. Duke’s Michael Schnacher shot a 60 in 2007.

“This is really similar to a couple of the European courses that I love,” he said after carding 10 birdies and a bogey. “I love the grass, I love the way it is set up.”

Host Georgia Tech was second 274, followed by Alabama (275). Illinois, who won the NCAA Fayetteville Regional, is at 276, one stroke ahead of top seed California in fourth.

Arkansas is in a tie for 14th. Sebastian Cappelen and Nicolas Schavarria lead the Razorbacks’ contingent at even par.

“We play in the early flight tomorrow so the winds should be less of a factor and I’m looking for us to be under par,” said Razorbacks coach Brad McMakin.

The Sun Devils, coached by Tim Mickelson, the younger brother of PGA star Phil Mickelson, were the fifth and final team to qualify out the Tempe, Ariz., regional. He likes his team’s chances to advance, however, with Rahm on the roster.

“This is a course that suits him well because he hits it extremely long and extremely straight, and he’s a hell of a putter,” the ASU coach said.

Action resumes today. The top eight teams advance to the match-play round.