PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. — Alabama has the opening-round lead at the NCAA championship on the par-71, 7,292-yard Riviera Country Club on Tuesday after shooting a 1-over-par round of 285.
The Crimson Tide hold a three-shot lead on Florida and Auburn heading into Wednesday’s second round. Alabama’s five-man lineup who recorded 17 birdies, one eagle, 18 bogeys and two double bogeys. UCLA and Oklahoma are tied for fourth at 5-over 289 while Iowa, Florida State, North Florida, UCF and Texas are tied for sixth at 6-over 290.
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Alabama, which teed off on the 10th hole Tuesday afternoon, finished on the par-4, 458-yard ninth hole. The Tide played the hole at 2-under par with a 24-foot birdie from Bobby Wyatt and a 14-foot birdie from Justin Thomas to finish at 1-over 285 as a team.
“We had a nice round and I was proud of how we finished, making a couple of birdies on our final hole,” Alabama head coach Jay Seawell said. “This is a hard golf course and the guys just kind of hung in there. I was pleased with the way they were able to stay focused on the job at hand. Those two birdies are going to be huge at the end of this round.”
Thomas played his final 11 holes at 3-under par after a rough start. He is tied for 10th after posting the Crimson Tide’s lowest round of the day at 1-under 70.
Wyatt finished at even-par 71 with his closing birdie. He went out in even par and made birdie on his 10th and 18th holes with two bogeys in between for his even par round. He is tied with teammate Scott Strohmeyer in 13th place after carding an up-and-down first round.
Strohmeyer made an eagle, four birdies and six bogeys to go along with just seven pars in his first round. Cory Whitsett and Hunter Hamrick tied for Alabama’s final counting score of the day with 2-over-par rounds of 73. They are in a tie for 46th place.