First Round Results
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Senior Brinson Paolini fired a two-under 68 to lead Duke to a two-under 278 in the opening round of the NCAA Tempe Regional at the ASU Karsten Golf Course (par 70, 7,036 yards). The Blue Devils enter tomorrow's second round tied for second and 10 shots off the pace of opening round leader UCLA.
Top-seed UCLA posted a 12-under 268 Thursday to grab the tournament lead. The Bruins pushed their lead late in the round by playing the par 5s (No. 14 & No. 17) at Karsten Golf Course at 10-under as a team. Duke is second and followed by Austin Peay (-1, 279). Georgia, Texas A&M, North Carolina, Clemson and Central Florida are tied for fourth at even-par and followed by Vanderbilt (+3, 283), Arizona State (+4, 284), New Mexico State (+5, 285), Kennesaw State (+8, 288), Arizona (+12, 292) and Lehigh (+21, 301).
"These guys know that it is out there for the taking," said head coach Jamie Green. "If we hear that ball drop into the cup a couple of more times we can certainly climb up the leaderboard and separate from the pack. UCLA did what I thought a few more teams, including ourselves, could have done out there. The weather was perfect and the golf course was scoreable in relation to par. With good weather and light wind you can score out there and our guys are looking forward to that opportunity the next two days."
The top five teams as well as the top individual after 54 holes of play advance on to the 2013 NCAA Championship at the Capital City Club - Crabapple Course in Alpharetta, Ga. (May 28 - June 2).
Dustin Korte (Austin Peay) and Pontus Widegren (UCLA) share the individual lead at six-under (64) with Greg Eason (Central Florida) one shot back. Paolini is tied for sixth with 10 other players after shooting a 68 (-2), while senior Adam Sumrall is tied for 17th at one-under.
Paolini, the 2013 Byron Nelson Award winner, continued his outstanding play with a two-under 68. The Virginia Beach, Va., birdied the par 4 second hole and made up for a bogey on No. 3 (par 4) with another birdie on the par 3 sixth hole. He slipped back to even-par with a bogey on No. 12 (par 3) before closing out the round with four pars and birdies No. 14 (par 5) and No. 18 (par 3). Paolini now has 15 under-par rounds and boasts a 71.62 stroke average on the year.
“It was a perfect day for scoring. I was able to stay aggressive and make some good birdies to finish the round,” said Paolini. “We are happy with our start, but with the great conditions the next two days, we know we need to keep the pedal down and make as many birdies as possible.”
Sumrall got off to a terrific start with birdies on No. 1 and No. 2. After a bogey on the third hole, he added a birdie on the par 4 fourth and parred the next five holes to make the turn at two-under. Bogeys on No. 10 and No. 11 moved him back to even-par but Sumrall sandwiched birdies on No. 15 and No. 17 around a bogey on No. 16. He capped off the round with a par on No. 18 for a one-under 69 and his fourth straight under-par round.
"Adam's round today was similar to a lot of his rounds this season," added Green. "He had good poise, maturity and decision making combined with really good ball striking that gave him birdie opportunities."
Freshman Mads Soegaard collected three birdies, 12 pars and three bogeys in the opening round for an even-par 70. He suffered a bogey on the par 4 fifth hole before carding birdies on No. 8 (par 4), No. 11 (par 4) and No. 16 (par 3) to move all the way to two-under on the day. With temperatures topping 100 degrees, the Denmark native ran out of steam and suffered back-to-back bogeys to close the round. Soegaard is tied for 23rd after 18 holes of play.
Julian Suri, a senior from St. Augustine, Fla., closed well on Thursday en route to a one-over 71. After parring the first four holes of the day, he suffered bogeys on No. 5 and No. 7 to slip to two-over. Suri regained a stroke with a birdie on No. 8 (par 8), before running into trouble with a triple-bogey on the par 4 10th hole. He moved back to three-over with a birdie on the par 3 12th hole and added birdies on No. 14 (par 5) and No. 17 (par 5) to first one-over.
Junior Austin Cody opened the day with a bogey before sliding back to even-par with a birdie on the par 4 second hole. He closed out the front nine with seven straight pars before suffering a bogey on No. 10. The North Charleston, S.C. native, rattled off six more pars and reached even-par with a birdie on the par 5 17th hole. His day ended with a bogey on No. 18 for a one-over 71.
Suri and Cody enter tomorrow's second round tied for 28th overall.
Duke opens second round play Friday at 10 am (ET). The second-seeded Blue Devils are paired with UCLA and Austin Peay for tomorrow's action. Live scoring for the event is available at www.golfstat.com. Round updates, notes, pictures and more are available on Twitter @Duke_MGolf.
*** Duke's two-under 278 marks the 10th time in program history the Blue Devils have shot under-par as a team in regional play ... the Blue Devils now have 15 under-par rounds on the season, second-most in school history.
*** Sumrall led the Blue Devils with five birdies Thursday, while Paolini and Suri each carded four birdies.
*** Paolini now leads Duke with 15 under-par rounds this season ... his 15 under-par rounds are seventh-most in a season at Duke.
*** Paolini recorded his 47th career under-par round to move into a tie for second in the Duke record books ... he is also second with 27 career rounds in the 60s and 68 even-par or better rounds.
*** Sumrall has shot under-par in seven of his last eight rounds ... he now has 10 under-par rounds on the season and 15 for his career.
*** Soegaard recorded his fourth even-par round of the season, tied for fifth-most in the Duke freshmen record book ... he is now second among Duke freshmen with 14 rounds of even-par or better golf.
*** Suri birdied both par 5 Thursday and is tied for third in par 5 scoring at -2.